Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, respected seniors, parents, fellow refugees, friends and family.
We, people from different parts of Vietnam, Southeast Asia were once together on the border of Thailand and Cambodia, where we became Vietnamese Land Refugees sharing one dream.
Today, it is my extreme pleasure to welcome all of you to our 30 year refugee reunion. And I am honored to have been asked to take part in this very special event.
|Sieu is speaking at the re-union|
On behalf of the host committee, I would like to thank all of you, who travelled from a long distance to this beautiful city of Montreal to help make the history of this reunion unique and possible.
Your participation is a remarkable testament to our perseverance.
First of all, I would like to specifically, express my deep appreciation to our dignitary Father Thomas Dunleavy, who risked his life for us during those times in the refugee camp.
Although, the situation in the camp was extremely dangerous, Father Tom never gave up on taking care of us.
For example, he would bring us a lot of mosquito nets to protect us from getting malaria disease. Father Tom also brought us a lot of clothing to keep us warm from the bitter coldness of the coming winter.
Even after all the Vietnamese land refugees were liberated from the Refugee Camp more than 30 years ago, Father Tom continues his remarkable mission to support less fortunate families and vulnerable children.
Father Tom gave us hope and love. He strives to make the world a better place for us. Father Tom, it is truly a blessing to have you here with us today.
I also want to particularly extend a hearty welcome to our hero, Ms. Martine Bourquin, the International Committee of the Red Cross delegate. As the medical professional, Ms. Bourquin never quit in visiting us despite of the bomb explosions around the refugee camp.
|Sieu is presenting Certificate of Appreciation |
from San Francisco city to Martin Bourquin
Bourquin risked her life because of us. And we are extremely grateful to have her with us today.
We thank you all for your contributions.
As I am standing here today, I want to give my voice and express my gratitude to those heroic acts by the international Committee of the Red Cross, American Red Cross, Thai Red Cross, The Japanese Volunteer Center, Christian Outreach, Medical San Frontier, Care, COERR, JRS and many other nonprofit charity organizations. We want to thank them for they gave us strength and courage. They put their lives in jeopardy because of us.
We also have one unique, respected individual, which we shall always remember, Doctor Louis Braile, was a senior physician from American Red Cross, who once upon a time dedicated his life for us in the refugee camps.
Many times when I think about that, I burst in tears and I cry. Without their humanity and contribution, we would not be here today.
Their compassion and their labor of love are embedded in our history; the story of this Vietnamese Land Refugee should be passed on to our children and to our younger generation. It shall never be forgotten.
|Sieu at Nong Samet refugee camp - 1983|
|Hưng, Marie Claude , Sieu - Donrgek refugee 1984|
|Sieu and Hưng - Site 2 refugee camp- 1985|