Representatives Michelle Steel (CA-48), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), and Lou Correa (CA-46) this week introduced a bipartisan House Resolution recognizing the significance of and commemorating the 46th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the tragic collapse of the Republic of Vietnam. The three Congress Members each represent a portion of the Little Saigon community in Orange County, California – the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam.
In April of 1975, North Vietnam began an offensive campaign attacking cities in South Vietnam with the goal of overtaking the country, which blatantly violated the terms of the Paris Peace Accord. On April 30, Saigon, the capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was invaded by communist forces in an event known as the “Fall of Saigon.” Each year, Vietnamese American communities across the United States commemorate these events during the month of “Black April.”
The resolution honors the service members of the United States, the Republic of Vietnam, and allied forces that fought and died during the Vietnam War, the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives attempting to flee Vietnam, the millions more that found safety in nations around the world, and the accomplishments and contributions of Vietnamese Americans to our nation over the past 46 years.
“After the Fall of Saigon, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people fled tyranny to pursue freedom and democracy,” Congresswoman Steel said. “My district is the proud home of Little Saigon, which is home to more Vietnamese Americans than anywhere else in the United States. I join the Vietnamese Americans in our community and around the country today in honoring those who served in Vietnam and those who lost their lives attempting to flee Communist rule.”
“Black April is a painful reminder for the hundreds of thousands of individuals who fled Vietnam at the end of the war,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Now, more than two million strong, the Vietnamese American community is a thriving and integral part of the American tapestry. There is still much work to be done and I am committed to advocating for the needs of the community here at home and champion the cause of human rights in Vietnam.”
“Each year on Black April, we are reminded of the pain of losing your homeland and the sacrifices made in the search for freedom from tyranny,” Congressman Correa said. “I am honored to represent this community and mourn alongside them. I am proud that America gave them shelter in their time of need. The United States must always be a beacon of hope to those without hope. We must continue to stand up for human rights and religious freedom and support the continuing struggle for freedom, justice, and human dignity in Vietnam. As long as there is injustice, America must be a voice for change.”
In addition to Reps. Steel, Lowenthal, and Correa the resolution is also cosponsored by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Young Kim (CA-32), and Barbara Lee (CA-13).