Administrator’s note

Khanh K. Pham is a youngest daughter of Mr. & Tung N. Pham of Gahana, Ohio.Mr. Pham is a former Lt. Col. of theVietnamese Air Force of the Republic of (South) Viet Nam.He fled South Viet Nam and came to America in 1975with his family as political refugees to avoid living under the totalitarian,communist regime.

After 27 busy years working to reconstructtheir life and put their children through college, the couple retired in 2002.During their retirement, they have been very active in community activities toremind future generation of the root cause of the painful exodus of theNationalist Vietnamese and, Freedom is not .

Khanh K. Pham represents the young generation of American ofVietnamese descent.While she understands,appreciates and enjoys freedom in her adopted country, she does not forget hercompatriots who are living in Viet Nam under the cruel communist regime withabsolutely no basic Human Rights.Below is her speech on Viet Nam Day at Ohio State Capitol on April 29, 2012.

We are proud of you Khanh.Keep up the good work.

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Welcometo the 4th Annual Heritage Freedom Flag Day for the Republic of Vietnam. It is my honor to be speaking to all ofyou today.I am so happy to be hereas we remember all the sacrifices made so that you and I can be free today.

I came to the United Statesin 1975 when I was 4 years old. I had my hardships living in a foreign country,but nothing that would’ve compared to my life had my parents notimmigrated to the United States.

Thesecond sentence of the U.S. Constitution states:” We hold these truths tobe self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by theirCreator with certain “unalienable rights that among these are life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This is our basic human right as aU.S.citizen.

Ibelieve that most Americans take their basic human rights for granted. Today, Americansare allowed to have their own beliefs and to have the freedom of speech. Theyare free from fear and unwarranted imprisonment. Meanwhile, people living in Vietnam havelittle or no basic human rights whatsoever, no freedom or democracy. They livein fear of beatings and imprisonment for expressing their suffering, pain andpoverty through their essays, art or music.

Hereare three examples of our countrymen, who have been persecuted for trying toexercising their human rights in Vietnam. Viet Khang,a musician and songwriter, who wrote the popular songs called “Where isMy Vietnam and are You” was imprisoned afterhe released his song on YouTube, describing the pain, poverty, suffering andmisery felt by Vietnamand its people. Father Nguyen van Ly, a Roman Catholic priest, was also imprisonedfor his non-violent pro-democracy movement and his collaboration with otherwriters on the “Manifestoon Freedom and Democracy for Vietnam”.In addition, Reverend ThichQuang Do, a Buddhist monk, was placed on house arrestfor 35 years, because the Communists believe he is a threat due to his leadershipin the fight for freedom and democracy for Vietnam. He has seen the sufferingof the Vietnamese; therefore, he would like to see Human Rights be restored to thepeople of Vietnam.

Foreveryone person, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Communist Vietnam,there are probably hundreds of others that we do not know about. Every lifecounts. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. Please do your part in easingthe suffering for yourself and for the people around you. Please call or writeyour State Representative to encourage them to support the continued fight forHuman Rights for the Vietnamese people.

HouseBill 55 gives us the opportunity to raise the flag every year on April 29 toremember not only the sacrifices made by many, but also to remember that humanrights are for everyone, not just some. As we raise the flag, remember Viet Khang. As we raise the flag, remember, Father Nguyen vanLy. As we raise the flag, remember Reverend Thich Quang Do. As we raise the flag, remember the fight forhuman rights is worth the sacrifice. As we raise the flag, remember that we allhave to do our part to ensure that Human rights are preserved foreveryone.

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