Journey to Freedom Day Act Passed in Canada

I’m Vietnamese born and I live in Canada. Somehow the ruling Progressive Conservatives knew that and my email, sending me a statement today from Minister Jason Kenney on the Journey to Freedom Day Act that just got Royal Assent (passed) on Friday, April 24th, 2015. It commemorates the many Vietnamese “boat” people refugees Canada has welcomed since the end of the Viet Nam War.

The statement, attached below, says “thousands” of Vietnamese boat people but they could have added “tens of”. Canada welcomed a LOT of us! Thank you, Canada! We hope we have contributed more than what you expected of us to allow us to be a part of your great country!

Oh, by the way, while it may be popular to spell Vietnam as one word in English, we use the same alphabets and wording system as English, and the country name is two words in Vietnamese. 🙂

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My One Minute Film in the Toronto Urban Film Festival

I am honoured this year to have my one minute film in the Toronto Urban Film Festival this year (TUFF).

Vượt Biên: Voyage of a Diaspora is a metaphorical depiction of the Vietnamese Boat People’s journey for freedom, using photos from the United Nations’ Photo Library and a few from my past.

[December 2011 edit: I’m allowed to share it now that the festival is over]

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The Lucky Few: The Story of USS Kirk (complete film)

The Lucky Few is an hour long documentary about the story of the USS Kirk and its crew in their incredible mission to rescue Vietnamese refugees during Operation Frequent Wind in the final days of the Viet Nam War.

As the War was coming to an end on April 29th to 30th, 1975, Operation Frequent Wind airlifted about 7100 “at risk” Vietnamese (to death from the Communist Viet Cong) and American civilians out of Sai Gon, the capital of South Viet Nam. Some lifts were scheduled. Others were not. The relative American small warship USS Kirk, a destroyer escort, and its crew suddenly found themselves in the midst of a flock of unscheduled airlifts, to which it admirably accommodated even though it was neither meant nor ready to do any such thing.

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