While our story is fascinating, frustrating, and heartbreaking all at once, it is too long to retell here. Just know that the very fact that we are friends or acquaintances or colleagues, or however it is you ended up here reading this often ridiculous blog of mine, we owe to those very tanks crashing through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh city)... had the South not fallen on April 30, 1975, my family wouldn't have fled, and who knows where (or if) I would even have been born.
April 30,1975 - Tank 843, the first to smash through the gates of the Presidential Palace, effectively signalling the end of South Vietnam. (This isn't my photo, obviously - I shot a picture of this photo in an exhibit)
The restored Tank 843, now on display at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about those final few days of South Vietnam, I would highly suggest watching the documentary Last Days in Vietnam. It's gripping and suspenseful, despite you already knowing the outcome, while telling the very tragic and human stories of those who so desperately wanted to escape.
And for you Canadian readers, you should check out this CBC article about Canada's coverage of the events in those final days. Interestingly, Mike Duffy (the now disgraced Senator) was one of the last Canadian reporters on the ground before the South's fall.