Congressmen Lowenthal, Correa, and Rouda Commemorate 44th Anniversary of Black April

April 29, 2019
Press Release

Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Lou Correa (CA-46), and Harley Rouda (CA-48) each represent a portion of the Little Saigon community in Orange County, California—the largest Vietnamese American community outside of Vietnam. The Congressmen today issued the following statements regarding the commemoration of the 44th anniversary of Black April.

On April 30, 1975, Saigon, the capitol of the Republic of Vietnam, was invaded by communist forces in an event that became known as "Black April" or the "Fall of Saigon." Following the collapse, millions of Vietnamese were forced to leave their homeland in search of freedom. Many found their way to the U.S., where today they comprise a vital and vibrant part of our diverse American family. Each year, Black April is somberly commemorated in Vietnamese American communities across the United States.

"Black April was a dark moment in time for the Vietnamese people's historic struggle for freedom and human rights. It continues to serve as a celebration of survival, a remembrance of tremendous loss, and a hopeful reminder of what the Vietnamese diaspora and their families have built in America," Congressman Lowenthal said. "It also reminds all of us that there is still much work to be done to ensure that the basic rights we enjoy here in America are upheld and respected in Vietnam."

"Today we remember the fall of Saigon and the generation of suffering that followed," Congressman Correa said. "While the war may have ended for the United States, for countless Vietnamese families who fought beside our men in uniform, Black April marked the beginning tyrannical authoritarian rule that would imprison and oppress those seeking to be free. Tens of thousands fled Vietnam by crowding on to small boats or escaping through thick jungles. These brave souls sought freedom and a chance to live in peace. Many found that refuge in Orange Country. Their stories inspire us to this day and remind us that freedom can never be taken for granted."

"April 30, 1975 was a turning point for millions of Vietnamese refugees who ultimately settled in the United States," Congressman Rouda said. "It marked the consummation of an era of tragedy and suffering for a people in search of human rights and human liberty. But the Vietnamese people's courageous pursuit of those aspirations, and the risks they took to come to the United States, were predictive of the success they would have in Orange County and the whole United States. Our whole community is enriched by the contributions of each successive generation of Vietnamese-Americans, and we owe it to our neighbors to demand human dignity be recognized in Vietnam."