The Day I Left Vietnam

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I still remember that day; it was July 4, 1994. Myfamily including my parents, my three younger sisters, and I were goingto leave Vietnam to come to the United States. We had permission from theUnited States government to come over to the United States because my fatherused to work for the United States Army during the Vietnam war. I wokeup about eight o’clock in the morning. After breakfast, I dressed up andwalked around to say good-bye to my neighborhood. Some of my neighborswished me a good life and a better education, some told me keep in touchwith them. Then I went back to my house. It was full of relatives and friends.

They came to visit us for the last time and some of them would go withus to the airport. My girlfriend was inside; she was waiting for me. Imet her one year ago and we fell in love after six months. When she knewI would leave, she cried a lot. I took her to the balcony where we hadour privacy. We sat down and then she silently cried on my shoulders.

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Iknew she loved me very much and did not want to let me go. She looked atme with tears and asked, “Will you come back?” I do not rememberhow many times she asked me this question. And I always replied with theanswer, “Yes, I will.” I told her, “After I finish schoolin America, I will come back.” Then we went out to have lunch at arestaurant near my house. When we came back, everybody was ready to leavebecause my Dad wanted to get there early in case we had to do some paperwork.

Most of people took a bus with my parents and my sisters; some had to leavebecause they had to take care of their businesses. The airport was nearmy house so I decided to take a bicycle ride with my girlfriend. We gotto the airport about 2:30 p.m. There were so many people, some of themwere our family some were friends and relatives of other families who hadthe same flight with my family. I started to say good-bye to my uncle,my aunt, my cousins, and my friends. I had four close friends who had beenwith me from elementary to college. We took some pictures and hugged eachother the last time. It was time to get into the plane. My Dad called me.

“Hurry, son.” I quickly gave my girlfriend the last kiss, thenran into the checking room without turning back. Then I realized my eyeswere full of tears. I did not want to let anybody see me crying so I quicklycleaned my face. The plane took off fifteen minutes later. From the planeI looked down to see the land the last time. All the memories came to mymind and once again my eye was full of tears. When I stepped down to theAtlanta airport, I realized that I really left my heart.

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