Friday, April 30, 2010

The South Vietnamese Say Goodbye to Vietnam

April 24th, 1975...
We were in Sai Gon at my uncle's house. I saw my mom whisper to my dad asking him to leave Viet Nam because she was afraid he would be killed. My dad refused for he did not want to leave us behind. He would rather die with his family, his country, and his people.

April 25th, 1975...
My dad discussed with my uncle and finally with sadness they decided to take the family down to Vung Tau to find way to leave together.

April 26th, 1975...
My parents took us church that evening and prepared our souls for the unexpected.

April 27th, 1975...
We left Sai Gon and headed down to Vung Tau Port.

April 28th, 1975...
We heard the road between Sai Gon and Vung Tau had closed. Nobody could get out.
We stayed at a church courtyard that night. Many people were there too. We all slept under the sky.

April 29th, 1975...
My dad woke us up early and rushed us to gather our things. We packed only the most most important thing and left for the port where the boats were waiting for us. At this time I think the communists were already there. We were being shot at while we ran. That night we were out at the ocean and transferred to a big navy fighting ship.

April 30th, 1975...
The saddest morning of my life... I woke up with so many people sitting around me...for we had seating room only. The rain got heavier, the sea churned stronger. We got news that Sai Gon failed. The communists had gotten into the Capital House. I saw my dad cried quietly. Looking down to the sea, I saw thousands of small, mediun size boats fleeing from Viet Nam. The communists were shooting out to sea trying to kill us. Some of the boats got hit and exploded.

Our ship departed my country. All of us turned our head and looking back to Viet Nam
as if we were trying to get the last glimpse of what was the most beloved and dear to us all.
I started to cry too for I finally realized this event was something very important. It was final. We have lost something very dear. As the ship sailed further and further, my country became smaller and smaller in my eyes. I looked around and saw the hollow, sadness, all different emotions on everybody's faces.

Good bye Viet Nam.

Today, April 30, 2010. Thirty five years later those days are so vivid in my head. On my way to work this morning, I was listening to a Vietnamese radio station, there were conversations and clips of broadcast from those days. I sat at the parking lot crying for my country and all the people had suffered throughout this horrible ordeal. I said a prayer for my country to not have any more sorrows and one day my people will experience real peace and happiness. I love you Viet Nam!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, Thai Le, this was so moving! Now I understand why this time is so emotional for you. I did not know you were shot at while escaping. That must have been so frightening! You were thirteen when you left, right? It is a miracle your whole family made it out alive and live here in peace. What sadness you must all have for the loss of your beautiful country.