You are here. You are living under the same moon that Albert Einstein and Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony lived under. You read all about the civil rights movement and women’s suffrage. You were there when people realized realized love is love on June 26th. We’ve lived through so many triumphs, but we’ve also endured disasters. Living in the world today is a constant battle between what people think is right and what people think is wrong. Our differences have clouded what is important; celebrating our differences and what everyone can bring to the table. We’re pulled one way and the pushed the other. We’re up against our brothers and sisters, screaming at each other’s faces and not hearing a word from one another.
There’s a fine line between nationalism and outright racism. My sociology class has really sparked my mind about the history and progression of race. As an Asian American, I have the privilege of sharing both cultures. I am proud to be Vietnamese and I am amazed at the strength of my grandparents. Without them and their courage, I would not be here today. My grandparents traveled to America after their home country erupted in war. They were forced to leave their family and desert their beloved country. I’ve noticed the Vietnam War is a touchy subject for some people. Whatever your belief is, if America should have intervened or not, think of the people, the civilians who lived to see their country torn apart.
I see my grandparents, my Ong and Ba, way different than how I used to see them. I never realized what they must’ve endured with small children and being separated for weeks. Even after all they’ve witnessed, their faith has remained steadfast and unwavering. When I see my grandparents smiling and laughing with our family, I wonder if they realize just how amazing they are. When I see them holding my baby cousins or playing with my little brothers, I just smile and hope they know how influential they are to me.
This is for my Ong and Ba, my Ong and his infinite love and gentleness, my Ba and her wicked cooking and magical ability to soothe any baby. The lights in their eyes when they see their grandkids is something I will never forget. I hope I can adopt the same qualities when I’m older and have at least half of their wisdom and dedication. They have given so much to my family and ask for nothing in return. I had the distinct honor of hanging out with my Ong and Ba after school and when I was a baby. I remember watching "Paris By Night" and witnessing my Ba’s magic in the kitchen and my Ong’s special ability to fix and build anything.
Family has always been my number one priority and that was made possible by my incredible, strong and devoted Ong and Ba. Thankfully, they’ve been able to go back to Vietnam and see their loved ones. I hope to one day share that journey with them, to see where I came from and meet my family. I have never witnessed such a strong devotion like them. Their devotion doesn’t stop at our family, they have been ever present and proactive in their church. I wonder where they get all this strength from. There has never been something they cannot do or would not do for our family. Thuong thuong Ong Ba!