San Jose

San Jose State University Students Create Documentary on Refugees Who Fled Vietnam

Thursday, April 30, marked the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.

In the two decades that followed, countless people fled the country, with many of them finding a home in San Jose.

The South Bay city is said to have one of the largest Vietnamese populations of any city outside Vietnam.

At San Jose State University, two journalism students have created a documentary profiling local refugees. Both students said they do not have any direct ties to the local Vietnamese community, but said as children of immigrants they felt it was their duty to record these stories for future generations.

"The Vietnamese community is so influential here in San Jose and is so significant," student Randy Vazquez said. "And I felt these stories needed to be told, especially by people who were there and people who sacrificed so much to get here."

On April 30, 1975, Vietnamese communist forces captured the south Vietnamese capital of Saigon, effectively bringing to an end a decade-old conflict and initiating a massive refugee crisis as thousands fled their homeland for America.

"A lot of these people when we started talking to them they are so quiet, they go unnoticed," Vazquez said. "But once we really got to talking, they told us these stories that resonated so loudly."

The students' documentary has been posted on YouTube.

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