Remembering Black April and Honoring Those Who Fought for and Fled to Freedom

April 30th is the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.  In Vietnamese, it is remembered as Tháng Tư Đen — Black April.

It is a time to remember and honor our more than 58,000 fallen and missing soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, our half a million Vietnam War veterans, and a million and a half South Vietnamese allies, as well as our allies from Australia, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines, who fought and died in the pursuit of freedom and democracy.

Vietnamese refugees fleeing communism in April 1975.

We must never forget their sacrifice.

This anniversary is also a time to recognize and celebrate the tremendous contributions that Vietnamese Americans have made to our nation and to our shared American way of life.

Large-scale immigration from Vietnam to the United States began in April 1975, when the fall of Saigon led to the U.S.-sponsored evacuation of an estimated 125,000 Vietnamese refugees.

Many of these initial post-war immigrants first arrived in America at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, which is now the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

As the humanitarian crisis and displacement of people in the Indochina region (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) intensified, more refugees and their families were admitted to the United States.

Honored to stand with our Vietnamese friends and the Vietnamese community at Black April ceremony in Little Saigon.

The Vietnamese immigrant population has grown significantly since then, roughly doubling every decade between 1980 and 2000, and then increasing 26 percent in the 2000s. In 2017, more than 1.3 million Vietnamese resided in the United States, accounting for 3 percent of the nation’s 44.5 million immigrants and representing the sixth-largest foreign-born group in the country.

We must also use this anniversary to renew our commitment to ensure that human rights and freedom are one day respected in Vietnam.

Like many people in Orange County, I have been moved to tears by the heartbreaking stories of the suffering of many of my Vietnamese friends and their families — stories of their tremendous struggles and their remarkable strength in coming to this country as refugees in one of the largest mass migrations in modern history.

We must never forget the incredible hardships they endured and never cease to admire their courageous determination to live in freedom.

Join Me on the Next Irvine Food Tour: Phans 55 Vietnamese Bistro and Bar

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Please join me as we continue our Irvine Food Tour, showcasing and sharing our wonderful cultural diversity in Irvine as expressed in scores of amazing local restaurants and markets featuring cuisines as diverse as Irvine’s population.

Irvine is home to scores of remarkable locally-owned restaurants featuring cuisine as diverse as Irvine’s population. But many people who live in Irvine are not aware of the great restaurants we have, or perhaps they’re a little uncertain about trying food they perhaps have not eaten before. That is why I created the Irvine Food Tour, where we visit a local restaurant and the owner or chef selects the menu and explains the food as it is brought to us.

The Irvine Food Tour is also a great way to support local businesses and to connect local business owners with the community.

Our next Irvine Food Tour Destination is Phans 55, a Vietnamese Bistro and Bar.

As the home of more than 200,000 people of Vietnamese heritage, Orange County has hundreds of restaurants specializing in Vietnamese cuisine.  You can find restaurants featuring traditional dishes from every region and city in Vietnam. Irvine’s Phans 55, a family owned and operated restaurant, takes a slightly different approach: Vietnamese cuisine with a modern flare.

The menu is built around the healthy, fresh, distinctive cuisine of Vietnam, as beautiful as it is delicious.

OC Metro Magazine has raved about Phan 55’s “quality of the locally sourced food and the outstanding diversity of inspiring flavors.” OC Coast Magazine promised its readers that they “will love Phans 55, a sexy Vietnamese bistro and bar that serves healthy Vietnamese and focuses on the green movement.”

Our hosts and guides will be owners Tom and Susie Phan, who bring to Phans 55’s wonderful cuisine many years of technique and training passed on from generation to generation.

As always they’ll be great food and great conversation!

There are vegetarian and kid-friendly options.  Each diner will purchase their own items from the menu.

As Tom and Susie Phan have said, “it is through eating that we can take a moment and listen to each other’s lives. Food always has this magical element that can bond different people from different backgrounds together. ”

We could not agree more!

What: Irvine Food Tour with Commissioner Melissa Fox

When: Monday, April 4, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.

Where: Phans 55, a Vietnamese Bistro and Bar. 6000 Scholarship, Irvine CA 92612

If you have any questions, please contact me at 949-683-8855 or melissa@melissafoxlaw.com.

Seating is limited, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible by calling me at 949-683-8855 or emailing me at melissa@melissafoxlaw.com.

See you there!

Please note:  Commissioner Melissa Fox’s Irvine Food Tour is the creation of Melissa Fox and Dr. Catherine Liu, based on their love of Irvine’s many cultures and cuisines and their desire to share Irvine’s many wonderful cultures and cuisines with you, and is not an official activity or event of the City of Irvine

Remembering the Anniversary of Black April and Honoring Those Who Fled to Freedom

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April 30th is the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.  It is a time to remember and honor our more than 58,000 fallen and missing soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, our half a million Vietnam War veterans, and a million and a half South Vietnamese allies, as well as our allies from Australia, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines, who fought and died in the pursuit of freedom and democracy.

We must never forget their sacrifice.

Rescued refugees fly the flag of the Republic of Vietnam, 1980.

This anniversary is also a time to recognize and celebrate the tremendous contributions that Vietnamese Americans have made to our nation and to our shared American way of life.

We must also use this anniversary to renew our commitment to ensure that human rights and freedom are one day respected in Vietnam.

Like many people in Orange County, I have been moved to tears by the heartbreaking stories of the suffering of many of my Vietnamese friends and their families — stories of their tremendous struggles and their remarkable strength in coming to this country as refugees in one of the largest mass migrations in modern history.

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Honored to stand with our Vietnamese friends and the Vietnamese community at Black April ceremony in Westminster.

We must never forget the incredible hardships they endured and never cease to admire their courageous determination to live in freedom.

Remembering Black April, the Fall of Saigon and Honoring Those Who Fled to Freedom

Black April, Vietnamese boat people, Melissa Fox, Melissa Fox for Irvine, melissafoxblog.comApril 30, 2014, is the 39th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.  It is a time to remember and honor our more than 58,000 fallen and missing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, our half a million Vietnam War veterans, and a million and a half South Vietnamese allies, as well as our allies from Australia, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines, who fought and died in the pursuit of freedom and democracy.

We will never forget their sacrifice.

Rescued refugees fly the flag of the Republic of Vietnam, 1980.

Today is also a time to recognize and celebrate the tremendous contributions that Vietnamese Americans have made to our nation and to our shared American way of life, and to renew our commitment to ensure that human rights and freedom are one day respected in Vietnam.

Like many people in Orange County, I have heard heartbreaking stories of the suffering of many of my Vietnamese friends and their families, of their tremendous struggles and their remarkable strength in coming to this country as refugees in one of the largest mass migrations in modern history.

We will never forget the incredible hardships they endured and never cease to admire their courageous determination to live in freedom.