Thirty-five years ago to this today marked the end of the Vietnam war, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and American casualties and the insurrection of Communism in South Vietnam. During this chaotic war-torn period, several families were torn asunder and were forced to evacuate their homes. I can only stress that this landmark event has impacted several Vietnamese and American lives, including my own. That is why April 30 is commemorated as a public holiday in Vietnam, and it is known as Reunification Day or Liberation Day (Ngày Giải Phóng).
I feel compelled to share a short film that I shot with author Lac Su about a year ago which takes you through a journey of his past revisited after fifteen years. The inspiration for this short came from his memoir I Love Yous are for White People and how he had been affected during his transition from Vietnam to America. He also posted a great story on CNN iReport that’s worth taking a look at.
But April 30 shouldn’t be remembered as the day that a nation fell, but rather how the Vietnamese overcame one of the greatest struggles in modern history. Along with Lac, there are several other accounts of Vietnamese Americans who have struggled and endured obstacles and came out to lead very productive and successful lives. I believe that these experiences should be shared to enlighten and educate both younger generations of Vietnamese American and Americans. I cherish these stories as treasures. It also happens to be one of the main reasons that inspire me to capture these stories and share them with the world.