I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

American Patriotism

Battle of Hamo Village During the Tet Offensiv...
Battle of Hamo Village During the Tet Offensive. US Marines and ARVN troops defend a position against enemy attack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Clear View by a Vietnamese Immigrant

On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ hosted a
Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of
coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in dedication
to all Vietnam Veterans. Thought you might enjoy hearing what he had to say:

Thirty-five years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand
up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I'd laugh at you.
Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family
in the greatest country on earth.

I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I
am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my
experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I'd rather speak
to you as an American.

If you hadn't noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with
my people.

I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get
it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am very proud of it.

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years
old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember
anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can't even imagine
what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home,
fighting on my behalf.

Thirty-five years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war
had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may
not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky
100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the US. Somehow, my family and
I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California . It was a miracle
from God.

If you haven't heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth,
I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities
presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember
the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school
counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor
communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all
you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him
to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am.

This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a
socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is
the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way
ticket out of here. And if you didn't know, the only difference between
socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my

In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the
Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time
as an American. To this day, I can't remember anything sweeter and more
patriotic than that moment in my life.

Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college,
and like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time with
my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California . In
some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here.

One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the
other side of the island. I don't know what made me do it, but I walked over
and asked if he had served in Vietnam . He smiled and said yes. I shook
and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I walked away as
fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This
was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in
my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time
for me to give back.

You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn't just a
physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American,
you must understand the concept, you must accept this concept, and
most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about
Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here.

Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must
do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you
cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can't speak the language of the
country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages - last I looked on the
Internet, there wasn't a Vietnamese translation of the US Constitution.
It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and
until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It's not easy,
but if it's too easy, it's not worth doing.

Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans
who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names scribed on the black
wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.

At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand.
I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for
giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans,
firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation
immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all.

Quang Nguyen
Creative Director/Founder
Caddis Advertising, LLC
"God Bless America "
"One Flag, One Language, One Nation Under God"
For those who understand, no
 explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no
 explanation is possible.



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