Texts From My Parents: What It Was Like To Leave Vietnam

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Today is the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon (April 30). This morning, my dad texted my mom and me.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. This morning, my dad texted my mom and me.

And so began my parents’ retelling of what happened that week in 1975 to their eldest daughter, who grew up loving pizza Hot Pockets more than anything in the entire world.

They left Vietnam four days apart: my mom from the central region and my dad from what is now Ho Chi Minh City.

They left Vietnam four days apart: my mom from the central region and my dad from what is now Ho Chi Minh City.

My parents met three years later in an ESL summer school class at my mom’s high school. Lol.
Iremember visiting the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C., for the first time in 2011. It’s a giant slab of polished granite with the names of over 58,000 fallen soldiers etched on its surface. The wall is nestled in a bunker-like enclave in the Constitution Gardens, near the Lincoln Memorial. It’s quiet, peaceful.

There was a group of veterans there that day who were also seeing the wall for the first time. I talked to one. I told him I was Vietnamese and his reaction was literally:

He was floored. He had never met an American-born Vietnamese person before. Weird to think: If it hadn’t been for the efforts of American soldiers, like him, to successfully bring thousands of refugees to safety, I most definitely wouldn’t be here……..

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via Texts From My Parents: What It Was Like To Leave Vietnam.

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