June 06, 2013

Trước Thềm Hội Ngộ: Những tấm hình bây giờ mới thấy

Do Chi Sieu just receives some photos taken on the day the first group of refugees were transported to Panatnikhom from Site A, the very first morning after we evacuated to Site A from Dongrek.

On the morning of Jan 25,1985,  after an exhausted night in the forest,  this group of refugees were blessed to walk about half an hour (or one hour?) to a clearing in the forest, known as Site 2 later in our journey, where the beautiful busses were waiting for them.  They would be in Panatnikhom that afternoon,  while the rest of us were still looking for each others, crying with each other, erecting shelter, digging trenches, waiting for the brutal unknown lurking on the other side of the border.

These are the photos of the lucky ones, the chosen ones, the happiest ones on earth at the time. We wish to hear the story from them, and share with each other the joy, the jubilant, the sadness, the depressed... the most memorable moment in our life.

Thank you Peter Korslund, and thanks Sieu, for sharing these priceless photos.

Peter Korslund, on right, seen in this photo working with two other volunteers at Khao I Dang for the malnourished children under five in the refugee camps.
Peter is the photographer of all the photos in this post.
Thank you, Peter


Peter Chuong OPD said...

Those are award-winning deserved photos...must say.
It has been more than 28 years...now they are surfaced in a very appropriate timeline and situation.
We, all Vietnamese Land Refugees, never forget our hardship and ordeals...surviving more than once. We have been from the same rebirth place. Our story becomes more relevant to the history now than ever.
Thank you Peter Korlund for your brave and skillful , powerful lens makes our story more bold .
Thank you ICRC

Quan Vu said...

That was indeed a very special day in our VNLR history. It certainly has a very unique and personnal meaning to each one of us, those who were lucky enough to get out of that situation and those who were left behind.
Myself, I was one of those who were lucky, but I am not sure that I felt happy that day. The circumstance was so particular that I was completely lost with my own feelings...
I still remembered that just a few days before that, I was so happy to hear my named called to be transfered to Panat. And then came the attack. My hope was gone. And then, in the middle of that hopeless situation, the good news came. The bus arrived.
Suddenly I felt that I was so attached to my friends whom I left behind. Suddenly, I realized that our friendship was so precious. Somehow, I felt guilty with my friends.
Even with my best friends, Chuong, Nam, Ngoc...I dared not look into their eyes and said goodbye. I even dared say: see you again. I left for a completely new horizon. They were staying, and I didn't even know if they would survive the next attack.
But I beleive that it was this very special circumstance that made each one of us stronger. It has brought us closer to one another.
Life is beautiful. Life gives us the opportunity to grow up and to learn to appreciate what we have.
For me and my friend Chuong, that particular day seemed to launch us into another adventure that took us a few years to fulfill, untill he finally arrived here...

Anonymous said...

Trong cơn tuyệt vọng của người VNLR lúc ấy, dù bạn ở trại nào thì hình ảnh Chữ Thập Đỏ cũng gần như tượng trưng cho sự sống lại từ cõi chết. Hình ảnh Chữ Thập Đỏ là niềm tin trong nhân loại được trả lại cho chúng ta sau khi niềm tin ấy đã bị tước mất khỏi trái tim chúng ta một cách phũ phàng. Nó là hình ảnh đẹp nhất của một hi vọng mỏng manh của mỗi người VNLR chúng ta một ngày sớm hay muộn đã trở nên một sự thật đầy may mắn đáng để mỗi chúng ta trân trọng yêu quý và nhớ mãi cho tới ngày nhắm mắt lìa đời. Tôi không từ Site A nhưng xem hình mấy cái xe bus mang hình ảnh Chữ Thập Đỏ đón chờ đưa các bạn đi Panatnikhom làm tôi chợt nhiên có cảm giác mình là đồng trại với các bạn, cùng sống với các bạn trong lúc ấy, và điều này làm tôi xúc động quá. Theo tôi, mấy cái xe bus mang hình ảnh Chữ Thập Đỏ thật là beautiful giống như anh Hưng viết, trong cái nghĩa đẹp nhất có thể có của tĩnh từ này.

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