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Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam
Bayshore Courier News
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Holmdel – On April 3, 1975, United States President Gerald R. Ford announced that “Operation Babylift” would fly some of the estimated 70,000 Vietnamese babies and children who were left orphaned by the Vietnam War to safety in America. Thirty flights, combining private and military planes, transported at least 2,000 children to the United States and another 1,300 children to Canada, Europe and Australia. These children, born in a war-torn land, grew up as members of international, adoptive families.
On Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will host a screening, followed by a group discussion, of the 2009 Award-Winning Film, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift. Many of the adoptees, organizers, family and friends involved in Operation Babylift will be in attendance to celebrate the 35th anniversary.
There will also be an honor guard procession recognizing those who did not survive the humanitarian mission known as Operation Babylift. This program will be held at the Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, NJ.
Guest speakers will include event organizer and author Lana Mae Noone and her daughter Jennifer Nguyen Noone, MSW, who she adopted through Babylift. Dr. Robert Ballard, a professor at Waterloo University (Ontario, Canada) and a Babylift Adoptee, and his wife Sarah who specializes in international adoption will also speak. The director of Project Reunite Trista Goldberg, also a Babylift Adoptee, will discuss her Babylift story. The nationally acclaimed author of The Life We Were Given, Dana Sachs will be present to address the audience. Retired U.S. Army Medic Ron Speight, a Vietnam Era veteran, will provide a dialogue about Operation New Life, a humanitarian program for Vietnam adults. There will be a Vietnamese and American musical performance by Lana Mae Noone prior to the film screening. The cast and crew of Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam including Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee and Associate Producer Jared Rehberg will be present for a question and answer period. The documentary, which was partly filmed in New Jersey, tells the contemporary story of the adoptees as adults. Several of the day’s speakers are featured in the film. Book signings and a reception with the opportunity to view Operation Babylift artifacts will follow the film screening. The event schedule is available for view on njvvmf.org. The program is dedicated to all those who did not survive Operation Babylift.
Attendees are asked to RSVP to (732) 335-0033. Regular admission applies. Regular admission is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Regular adult admission is $4.00; student and senior citizen admission is $2.00; and children under 10 are admitted free. The Vietnam Era Educational Center is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at exit 116. The Educational Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm.
DALLAS, TX –The 35th anniversary celebration of Operation Babylift will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 at the New Jersey Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. Dallas-based nonprofit organization ATG Against the Grain Productions will provide a community screening of its award-winning documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at 1 p.m. in the Testimony Theater. Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee will join adoptee and associate producer Jared Rehberg in a Q&A following.
Operation Babylift is Tammy Nguyen Lee’s feature directorial debut and tells the story of how more than 2,500 orphans were airlifted out of Vietnam during the last days of the Vietnam War and their tumultuous journey growing up in America. The documentary incorporates a historical and contemporary view of this little known and controversial part of American history in 1975, featuring compelling interviews from a cross-section of adoptees, their parents and volunteers, as well as archival and rare home video footage.
“This is a very special celebration that brings together so many who were affected by Operation Babylift,” said Tammy Nguyen Lee. “We are grateful to be a part of this event that remembers such an important part of our history.”
“The 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift is a special time for adoptees to reflect on their past and think about their unique journey from Vietnam to America,” said Jared Rehberg.
“I believe the April 24th program is a culmination of the Operation Babylift Diaspora, 35 years later. This is a program that will be informative, insightful, enjoyable and a once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of Vietnamese adoptees (VADs), OB participants, and Vietnam Veterans,” said Lana Noone, adoptee mother and moderator of the event. “I’m delighted we’ll screen Tammy’s film, and the speakers we’ve assembled will give voice to several perspectives on OB. It’s truly a “not-to-be-missed” event for all!” For more details about the event, visit www.njvvmf.org/35thanniversaryofbabylift.
ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com