Part 1: With help from the Nixon White House tapes, Marc Selverstone, of UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, discloses the president’s true intentions in ending the war in Vietnam, and Admiral Pete Bondi recalls the chaos on the ground as North Vietnamese troops systematically overtook the southern provinces almost three years later. Lieu Nguyen describes her family’s death-defying journey to freedom, and Captain Paul Jacobs hails the humanitarian efforts of the U.S. Navy, involving dramatic rescues at sea. Finally, Phu Nguyen talks about life under communist rule after the Fall of Saigon, revealing that, regardless of one’s ability to escape, everyone in South Vietnam lost their homeland on April 30th, 1975.
Part 2: While Thuy Dinh, Toa Do, and Lieu Nguyen describe small but meaningful details of life in their new Virginia community of “Little Saigon,” author Phuong Nguyen discusses the American systems in place to assist refugees and the conflicting feelings of gratitude and guilt associated with their rescue. Thanh Tan talks of countering her father’s opinion on immigration using his own story of escape and asylum, and Kim Delevett travels to Vietnam for a homecoming she never expected. Plus, music plays a pivotal role in telling the complex stories of refugees and connects a new generation with the past.