Rep. Zoe Lofgren Pays Tribute to the Vietnamese-American Community as they Mark the 39th Black April Day Commemorating the Fall of Saigon in 1975
April 30, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam, released the following statement today commemorating Black April Day. Black April is traditionally observed by the Vietnamese-American community on April 30th to mark the Fall of Saigon and the fall of the South Vietnamese government to the North Vietnamese communist regime on April 30, 1975:
"Today I join others around the world, and in my own community, in commemorating the 39th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.
"Earlier this week I joined with members of the Vietnamese-American community at a flag raising ceremony in San Jose on Sunday to observe this sober day in history. I recalled that on this day thirty-nine years ago, as a young person working in a congressional office, I was actually on the phone trying to arrange travel for the younger sisters of a Vietnamese-American constituent. As I was on the phone, the line went dead and that was the end of the communication with the embassy, the South Vietnamese government had fallen.
"Fortunately, those young girls eventually walked through the jungle and escaped to safety. Their bravery was typical of the thousands of refugees in America and around the world beginning new lives, who never forgot the struggles they endured and those left behind.
"Thirty-nine years later, the Vietnamese government ranks alongside other dubious regimes such as Iran, North Korea, and Sudan in oppressing its people and violating basic human rights. But the story of the Vietnamese in America is one of heroism, of bravery, and of constancy in their commitment to freedom. Like them, I will continue to stand up and speak out against Vietnam's oppression and work to see the improvement of human rights for the Vietnamese."
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