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(In photo L-R: Dr, Thao Ha, sociology instructor; Thanh Lai, fixed assets and administrative services specialist; Jade Hidle, associate faculty, English; and Nghia Nguyen, accountant (courtesy photo)

MiraCosta Commemorates Fall of Saigon with Refugee Panel Discussion, Film

Oceanside CA—This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, and to commemorate this moment in history, MiraCosta College is hosting The Vietnam War Commemoration Project, featuring a panel discussion and film presentation to be held April 30 at 5 p.m. in Room 3601 at its Oceanside Campus, located  1 Barnard Drive. The evening will include a reception featuring Vietnamese food and drink.

The event features a panel of MiraCostans who were once Vietnamese refugees: Dr. Thao Ha, sociology instructor; Thanh Lai, fixed assets and administrative services specialist; Jade Hidle, associate faculty, English; and Nghia Nguyen, accountant. The four will speak about their own experiences: escape by boat, escape by flight, refugee camp life, and resettlement in America. The research of Dr. Ha is the inspiration for the new film, “Seadrift.” The trailer for this documentary will be screened at the event. “Seadrift” tells the tale of Vietnamese immigrant fishery workers in Texas and is an incredible story of survival, perseverance and ultimate triumph over dire circumstances. Dr. Ha and film director Tim Tsai will participate in the panel discussion.

The April 30 event will also feature a screening of the documentary, “A Village Called Versailles,” a 2009 film about environmental justice and social activism by Vietnamese immigrants in the Versailles neighborhood of New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The film’s director, S. Leo Chiang, will be in attendance.

The Fall of Saigon occurred on April 30, 1975. It signaled the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning the mass evacuation of more than 100,000 Vietnamese refugees. April 30 is known as Black April and is a poignant moment in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese Americans. For more information about the event, contact Thao Ha at tha@miracosta.edu