Tuesday will be the 38th anniversary of when the the United States withdrew from Vietnam. For Andrew Lam’s father, it is still a painful memory. Lam wrote a blog published in New American Media about how his father still can’t go back to his home country.
He was once a high ranking Vietnamese officer, and the takeover of his country by the communist regime remains so painful to him he can not go back as long as the communists remain in power.
Those memories came flooding back for Andrew after he visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Orange County for the first time. The memorial features a life-size statue of a South Vietnamese American soldier standing side by side with an American soldier. Lam’s father helped raised the money for the memorial.
Lam wrote “My father considers himself an exile living in America, part of an increasingly small population; I see myself as an American journalist who happens to make many journeys to Vietnam without much emotional fanfare. For me, Vietnam, my country of birth, and its tumultuous history have become a point of departure, a concern, but no longer home.”
Lam observes as the new generation of Vietnamese American grows up, the ties in the Vietnamese American community to their elders former homeland weaken. The younger generation’s efforts to help Vietnam with charitable intent are often met with anger by the older generation.
You can read more about this growing generation divide in New American Media.