Archive for April 30

A Solemn Thank You.

Posted in IV. Columns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2018 by Ian Pham

Vietnamese Memorial(Breitbart)

Hello All,

I’ll be honest here. I tried writing a few feature pieces for this April 30th, but none of it panned out. I wanted to do something big, bit off more than I can chew, and simply didn’t have enough time to make it good enough to share. There are certain standards that I hold myself to as a writer, and I would not put anything out unless I believe it was good enough. This is even more so on Black April, a solemn day of mourning and commemoration for a nation lost. I wanted to do a lot for this day, but in the end, this year, I came up empty.

But, it didn’t feel right to say nothing. I have to say something. How could I not?

And so, with no research or notes on hand, or a poem, or anything, all I got is what is on my mind right now, right this minute, and the only thing I can say is this:

Thank you.

Thank you to all the heroes who fought, bled, and died to defend the freedom of the South Vietnamese people and their nation. This goes out to all of the veterans. South Vietnamese veterans, American veterans, and all of our friends and allies who laid down their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom and independence. To all of the heroes, living or dead, I thank you. We thank you, and pledge to never let your sacrifices be forgotten.

I also want to thank the Boat People refugees, the Children of the South, who took that leap of faith, and faced the vast and mighty Ocean in the pursuit of freedom. To everyone who made that impossible choice to depart from Vietnam after the communist takeover, braving unthinkable danger, and enduring unspeakable pain and suffering, all for that beautiful idea, freedom, I thank you. Without you, there would be no us. Without you, there would be no hope. So thank you. Thank you for keeping it all alive. The legacy, the heritage, the roots of the Vietnamese people, all of it lives on to this day, because of you. Thank you, for giving us something that we can never repay. We will carry it with us, and pass it on to future generations, so that it may live on. Forever.

Lastly, I want to thank all the nations of the free world who took in the Boat People refugees. To the countries that took us all in, at a time when we had nothing, we thank you. You gave us freedom, you gave us hope, you gave us strength, and you gave us a future. You gave us a home. And, like the gift that the Boat People refugees have given to the future generations, we can never repay the gift that the nations of the free world have given to us all. But, we will try, every minute, every second, of every day to make the most of that gift that you have given us: Freedom. Thank you America. Thank you Canada. Thank you Australia. And thank you to all the nations of the free world who took us in and made us your own. Your kindness and compassion will never be forgotten.

And to you, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and musings, and thank you for standing with me, as a proud, freedom-loving Vietnamese person. What’s more, thank you for keeping the South Vietnamese legacy alive. We are all in this together, and one day, Vietnam will be free again. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

Thank you.

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Here’s Some Artwork/Wallpaper for the Coming Black April Day

Posted in Art, Modern History, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2017 by Ian Pham

FFVN Main

Hello all.

I generally don’t like making promises ahead of time, but in this case, I’ll make a exception. The promise is that I will be making a post for this coming Black April Day, April 30, 2017. It’s kind of a given, since that day is monumentally significant to us Vietnamese people. However, I am going to verify it here, and say that yes, there will indeed be an article written and published for Black April Day 2017.

In the meantime, here is some artwork that you can put as your laptop’s background wallpaper, or have it as your profile picture on Facebook or wherever else on social media, or simply save it just because.

The pictures are self-explanatory. They are commemorative and honoring of the fallen nation of South Vietnam, and all of the men and women who gave their lives fighting for that nation’s freedom, against the Communist North, and against the Chinese. At least there was one Vietnamese nation in modern history that had the gull to stand up to the Chinese, am I right? That nation was South Vietnam, by the way, for all my friends who haven’t connected the dots.

Well, without further ado, here are the artworks, which come in two languages: English and Vietnamese.

Enjoy.

#1: “Never Forget”

April A

#2: “Never Forget (Vietnamese)”

April B

#3: “We Remember”

April C

#4: “We Remember (Vietnamese)”

April D

If you like, use one (or more) of these as your profile picture on your social media accounts and/or share with your friends and family as a way to commemorate and spread awareness about April 30 and its significance to the overseas Vietnamese communities.

Cheers.

 

UPDATE:

To access the artwork on Facebook, click here!

Remembering South Vietnam: A Tribute to The Republic

Posted in Economics, IV. Columns, Modern History, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2016 by Ian Pham

Remembering South VietnamPhoto via Flickr

This is just a brief tribute to the former Republic of Vietnam and all the brave men and women who fought so bravely to protect the country. We all know very well the story of its tragic fall, but we also know very well what a great nation it was.

This year, to commemorate the day that Saigon fell to the communists, I want to remind everyone of the greatness of South Vietnam. By recognizing the actions, ideals, and achievements of the Southern Republic, I aim to demonstrate to us all why April 30 is such a sad day for any Vietnamese who loves freedom.

Every year since 1975, April 30 marks the fall of a proud, vibrant, and prosperous Republic, one that flourished culturally and economically, and carried itself with courage, pride and dignity. Moreover, this day marks the fall of a democracy, a young democracy, but a true democracy nonetheless.

South Vietnam was a nation that nurtured its young. It was a nation that had a deep love for education, invested heavily in education, and went to great lengths to ensure their citizens the access to this education. In only two decades of its existence, South Vietnam successfully expanded its educational programs by leaps and bounds, growing exponentially at the elementary, secondary, and university levels. To put neatly, South Vietnam was a nation of smart people, with endless potential for advancement and growth.

In terms of economy, South Vietnam was highly competitive, a leader in the Southeast Asia region, and a contender in Asia as a whole. Starting from its humble beginnings as a postcolonial state, South Vietnam showed rapid growth immediately after its birth as an independent nation. Over the course of its lifetime, up until its fall in 1975, South Vietnam prospered economically, excelling in agriculture, heavy industry, and trade. Due to its success, its capital city Saigon garnered huge respect from the world, and earned itself the famous title of “Pearl of the Orient.”

When speaking of democracy in South Vietnam, there is no doubt that the Southern Republic was a true liberal democracy. Secret ballot elections, universal suffrage, multiple political parties, freedom of speech, expression, and association, and checks and balances between its executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, South Vietnam met all of these criteria. In all, South Vietnam was a free country, one that championed the rights of its people, adhered to the rule of law, and kept its people safe.

Lastly, I would just like to recognize South Vietnam as a brave and noble nation that fought with every ounce of its strength to defend its people, from domestic terrorism by the National Liberation Front, the all too familiar invasions from North Vietnam, as well as an abrupt naval invasion by the People’s Republic of China.

In all of these cases, South Vietnam responded, and with whatever resources it had, the Southern Republic fought. This was the nation that captured many VC terrorists, even converting many of them to forsake their communist allegiances and come over to the Republic. Moreover, this was the nation that kept the North at bay for 20 years, and, statistically speaking, eviscerated the communist forces in the majority of engagements on the battlefield.

Finally, South Vietnam was the nation to open fire on the Chinese when the latter sent their warships into Hoang Sa (Paracel) in 1974, thinking that they can push the Southern Republic around. With all that has been shown, it simply needs to be understood here that South Vietnam was a nation that stood tall and fought hard. It was a proud nation, a brave nation, and an honorable nation that kept its people safe.

The loss of this Republic on April 30, 1975 is more than just a page in history. It is a tragedy, marking the day that every freedom-loving Vietnamese person lost their home.

The sadness brought about from the loss of the Republic of Vietnam stems from the greatness of its legacy. Because of its ideals, and because of its bravery, the memory of South Vietnam continues to resonate in the hearts and minds of every freedom-loving Vietnamese person across the world, even inside Vietnam today.

South Vietnam has become a symbol of what it means to be truly Vietnamese in the modern era: smart, hardworking, brave, loyal, and living with integrity. These are the things that the Republic of Vietnam stood for, and these are the type of people who hail from its origins and carry on its legacy. The yellow flag of freedom represents our roots as people of a proud and honorable nation, and reminds us of our undying love for independence and democracy.

In all of this, we cannot forget our veterans. The troops that sacrificed themselves, paying the ultimate price both physically and mentally to defend the ideals of the Republic and keep the people safe, their sacrifice must never be forgotten.

To the soldiers of South Vietnam, the soldiers of the United States, and soldiers of the allied nations who gave their lives to defend freedom in Vietnam, we thank you, for everything.

This is a tribute to the nation of South Vietnam, and all the brave men and women who fought to defend the country and its ideals. This is for you.

Thank you.

A Short Commemoration on This First Journey to Freedom Day

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by Ian Pham

Journey to Freedom Day in OttawaA crowd of over 500 people gathered in downtown Ottawa today for the inaugural Journey to Freedom Day celebration. Photo via Julie Oliver/Ottawa Citizen

Earlier today, Canada celebrated its first annual Journey to Freedom Day, a day of commemoration for the fall of Saigon, the harrowing journey of the Vietnamese boat people in search of freedom, and their vast contributions to Canada following their arrival. The significance of this day reaches far beyond Canada, however, as Vietnamese refugees were fortunate to find a new home in many different nations across the western world since departing from South Vietnam on and after April 30, 1975.

We don’t have much time left before the day is over, so I will have to make this brief.

Today, we mourn the loss of the Republic of Vietnam to the Communist North. It is on this day, forty years ago, April 30, 1975, that the Northern tanks stormed through the gates of Saigon’s Presidential Palace, signifying the end of the Vietnam War. Without getting into the politics of it all, it is acknowledged as a day of sadness, panic, and heartbreak. On that day alone, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people fled the country in frantic hysteria, with the sea being their only way out.

It is on that day that the journey to freedom began, and the day that a new chapter in our history commenced. For the next two decades, two million people would leave Vietnam in search of a better life. Of this two million, two hundred and fifty thousand would not make it.

For those fortunate enough, new homes would be found in distant lands such as Australia, Europe, America, and Canada. They were the lucky ones, the survivors, and they are our parents or grandparents. It is because of them, because of that journey, that we all have this life today. They risked their lives, they braved the dangers of that voyage across the ocean, and as a result of their strength and courage, we all are blessed with this life and this freedom. It is for this reason that a day such as Journey to Freedom Day carries so much significance across the world. Though Canada is the first to acknowledge the significance of April 30, we are all connected by the stories behind this day. We are all Vietnamese, and we are all here because of someone before us, who was brave and strong enough to embark on that journey to freedom.

Whether we are in Canada, the United States, Australia, or Europe, we are all here for the same reason, because someone before us took that harrowing voyage, that journey to freedom. Thus, it is important that we all understand the significance of Journey to Freedom Day, and how, despite being from different parts of the world, we all share that same history, the foundations brought forth by that incredible journey.

On this day, we remember the fallen. The soldiers, the people, and the nation of South Vietnam. Furthermore, we, on this day, commemorate the courage and sacrifice of the boat people on that perilous journey, and in that, we must never forget how precious a gift freedom truly is.

Enjoy your Journey to Freedom Day, everyone.

Always remember.

Canada Passes Bill S-219, Officially Marking April 30 as “Journey to Freedom Day”

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2015 by Ian Pham

Journey to Freedom Event, OntarioPhoto via Twitter @MarkAdlerMP

It’s official, folks. As of late last week, April 30 will be known each year in Canada as Journey to Freedom Day, a day of commemoration for the Vietnamese boat people, their long and dangerous journey across the ocean after the fall of South Vietnam, and ultimately, their new beginnings and incredible contributions as proud and free citizens of Canada.

Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Minister of Multiculturalism, and ardent advocate of the Journey to Freedom Day Act since its inception, issues the following statement:

“This year Canadians will mark the first annual Journey to Freedom Day, thanks to a Senate bill which received Royal Assent today.

“The Journey to Freedom Day Act, which was introduced in the Senate in April 2014 by the Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, designates April 30 as a day to commemorate the thousands of Vietnamese ‘boat people’ Canada has welcomed since the end of the Vietnam War.

“Designating April 30 as an annual day of commemoration will give Canadians the opportunity to reflect on the journey of more than 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to Canada, to recognize the remarkable role Canadians played in helping them settle in their new home through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program, and to celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Vietnamese origin to our country.

“I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the heartbreaking and inspiring voyage of the Vietnamese boat people, which is an important part of our country’s history.”

Mark Adler was the sponsor of Bill S-219 in Canada’s House of Commons during its lengthy process of becoming law. His hard work in support of the Journey to Freedom Day Act is another huge reason for its great success.

Here are some tweets and retweets by Member of Parliament Mark Adler on the passing of the Journey to Freedom Day Act:

There’s not much else to be said here, folks. It’s done, and it’s beautiful. The significance of this law echoes far beyond Canada itself, as freedom-loving Vietnamese across the world are rejoicing the passing of this law, and commending Canada for this great commemorative act.

Congratulations to Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, Member of Parliament Mark Adler, Defence Minister and Multicultural Minister Jason Kenney, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and everyone involved in making Journey to Freedom Day a reality. Thank you for all your hard work, thank you for making this possible, and thank you for your service. You just made history.

In all, congratulations to Canada for being the first country to pass this trailblazing legislation. From Vietnamese communities across the world, inside and outside of Vietnam, you have done us all proud!

Journey to Freedom Day Becomes LawPhoto via Twitter @MarkAdlerMP

#JourneyToFreedomDay2015

#40YearsRememberingSouthVietnam

#LestWeForget