Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Congressman Cao Commemorates "Vietnamese Refugees Day"

Cao Commemorates “Vietnamese Refugees Day”



Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao’s (LA-02) first piece of legislation, H.Res. 342, designating May 2, 2009 as “Vietnamese Refugees Day,” was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives.



“The resolution commemorates the arrival of Vietnamese refugees in the United States, documents their harrowing experiences and subsequent achievements in their new homeland, and honors the host countries and other voluntary agencies that welcomed the boat people and facilitated their resettlement into mainstream society in the United States,” declared Cao.



On May 2, 2009, designated as “Vietnamese Refugees Day,” the Library of Congress’ Asian Division will join many Vietnamese-American organizations across the United States in sponsoring a symposium entitled: “Journey to Freedom: A Boat People Retrospective.”



“Like me, many of the conflict’s refugees came to the United States. In fact, it was April 28, 1974, exactly 34 years ago today, that, as Saigon fell, I climbed aboard a C-130 destined for the United States and my new life,” said Cao in support of the resolution.



Cao added that, since the Vietnam War ended, approximately 2,000,000 Vietnamese boat people and other refugees are dispersed globally. As of 2006, 72 percent of those Vietnamese-American in the United States are naturalized United States citizens — the highest rate among Asian groups.



Vietnamese-Americans significantly contribute to the cultural and economic prosperity of the United States as artists, scientists, astronauts, restaurateurs, Olympians, professors and lawyers. H.Res. 342 designates May 2, 2009 as “Vietnamese Refugees Day” in honor of Vietnamese-Americans’ journey to freedom.



“By doing so, we enshrine in the hearts and consciousness of Americans the tragic, heroic and uplifting stories of perseverance and the pursuit of freedom of millions of Vietnamese refugees to ensure these stories will stand as an inspiration to generations of Americans to come,” affirmed Cao.



The bill had 67 co-sponsors.



Cao’s statement from the House floor can be viewed here:



http://clips.shadowtv.net/media/stv/3343/8/2009/118/13/3343_8_20090428_130414_820.wmv

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