The last video shows different scenes of different stages of the Vietnam War. Some scenes include; the war, injuries of civilians and soldiers, people patiently waiting to get to go to the promised land, babies, citizenship/naturalization process, tent set ups, and the result of the war. This video heavily discusses the emphasis of how important it was for the children to make it to safety. “I have directed that c5a aircraft and other aircraft especially equipped to care for these orphans.” The video also heavily praises the United States for stepping up and participating no matter how controversial. “The United States has been doing and will continue to do its upmost to assist these people. I have directed that all available naval ships to stand off into China to do whatever is necessary to assist.” Even though the United States received backlash during the Vietnam War and continues to receive backlash, I think that it is very important to note that America was willing to put themselves out there in order to help out another Country. I think that the number of causalities was completely outrageous and unnecessary across the board, but in the bigger being at war, supporting refugees, and trying to eliminate communism was a very powerful and impactful decision. This video represents America’s efforts very well proving that even though things went bad, people never stopped trying. This video relates to the book because it shows the other side of the book. The book focuses on families in Saigon trying to flee and how their new life is in America. This video shows more of the internal issues and problems. It explains more of the details involving the “process” of the war. For example; the orphans, the steps of being placed into a safe country, and the process of naturalization. I picked this because I think it is important in order to show the full story of the Vietnam War effects and the refugee battle.
In 1975, South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam, ended the Vietnam War, but was the beginning of a life style change for Ha҄. This video shows a visual representation of the concern, panic, and aftermath of the beginning of the war in Saigon. There was an instant rush of emotion throughout the city of Saigon. People were fighting to evacuate, so they could flee from the danger. “Looking for that ride to freedom.” “When the final order to evacuate was given, within eighteen hours, eighty-one helicopters evacuates, six thousand Vietnamese and over one thousand Americans. This was the largest evacuation in history.” The speakers in this video explained that as they were soaring through the sky in the helicopter, they saw “columns of tanks, support trucks, you could see other people undressing and those were the South Vietnamese soldiers that just gave up and clothes laying on the street, boots laying on the street, a lot of people still at the embassy.” When the two speakers arrived at the boat, they were in shock because there was a very large number of refugees. They were relieved because they were safe. The Vietnam War is one of the most controversial wars that America has taken part of. The War affected so many people and continues to affect us every day. “The Vietnam War is sometimes referred to as the American War because we had a very largest foreign military presence.” We joined forces with the South Vietnam military to delay and stop the communist threats. The United States had fifty-eight thousand two hundred causalities and three hundred thousand wounded military personal due to the participation the Vietnam War. I believe that all wars that our military personnel encounter set sort of a precedent for how we handle future situations. I feel that the Vietnam War is one of the most exemplar wars that we have encountered thus far. It is very important to our history. The impact of the Vietnam War was and is still so great, that it will never not be important to our American history.
Boats and Helicopters were the main ways that people living in Saigon were able to flee. In the book, Ha҄ and her family escaped by boat. Through several different poems, Ha҄ explains the incredibly poor conditions on the boat. There was a lack of food, water, space, and hope. Everyone was going through different emotions while facing the same struggles which made it very difficult for the people to connect and find hope on some level. In the book, Page 63, “Bodies cram every centimeter below deck, then every centimeter on deck.” “We are told to sip water only when we must so our bodies can stop needing.” (Page 73) “I nibble on my last clump of cooked rice from my sack. Hard and moldy, yet chewy and sweet inside.” (Page 75) While Ha҄ and her family are on the boat on the way to the United States, the Commander announces that Saigon is gone. (Page 69) When the commander makes this announcement, the boat fills with a sense of distress, yet reassurance. They were relieved to be safe, but heart broken that their whole world was just destroyed. The video shows a visual representation of the boat journey to safety. One of the things that this video is able to capture is the very tight quarters that everyone was in. The video also captures the rush of emotions very, very well. There is panic, hope, discomfort, and lots of stress.
This video encompasses several different peoples’ stories of their journey to America while fleeing Vietnam. They discuss personal experiences involving how their family’s journey to a better world was not easy, heart breaking, but hopeful. One of the speakers, Andrew Lam, explained, “My mother made each of us keep a backpack with an address of an aunt who lived in San Francisco, just in case we got lost from each other.” In the book, Ha, her brothers, and mother also had a similar plan in case something like that were to happen. They had the address of an aunt who lived in a different place. If someone were to get lost or if something were to happen, the others would know where to find them. Sonny Le explains, “My father told me to remember who I was and remember where I came from before he sent me off.” Minh-Hoa explains, “My mother never told her parents that we were escaping along with other family members. It is the worst decision that she ever made and she still regrets it to this day.” In the book, not everybody from every family was able to flee, parents, would send off just their kids if it meant that they could have a better life. Family members would “turn” on each other because they were selfish in the decision to getting to safety and freedom. “Over a million Southeast Asian refugees have resettled in the U.S. since 1975.” As the Vietnam War started and ended, the number of refugees in America increased a great amount. Today. The number of refugees continues to increase. Since there has been a rapid increase in the number of refugees in America, laws governing refugees were created. For example; The Refugee Act of 1980. This act includes two main sections; Title I- Purpose and Title II- Admission of refugees. Title II explains all of the details regarding the definition of a refugee as well the procedure and documentation of how they will act in America. “(2)(A) The Director is authorized to provide assistance, reimbursement to States, and grants to and contracts with public and private nonprofit agencies, for the provision of child welfare services, including foster care maintenance payments and services and health care, furnished to any refugee child (except as provided in subparagraph (B)) during the thirty-six-month period beginning with the first month in which such refugee child in the United States.” -95 STAT. 114 Child Welfare Services. Laws like this, change how we handle different situations regarding refugees.