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Independence Day in Washington DC

It’s been over 20 years since I’ve spent the day in the District for the Fourth of July!  One – time flies because two decades is quite some time.  Two – I definitely take the city and all its events for granted, especially since I live so close to it.  Three – I finally had the opportunity to not only celebrate Independence Day in the heart of America but to also be a part of the annual parade!

The Vietnamese-American Celebrate Freedom (VACF) is a group consisting of the Vietnamese community in the local areas of DC, MD, and VA.  VACF has been a part of this parade for the past 20 years!  I was beyond ecstatic to stand alongside with so many great Vietnamese-American leaders, including military and veteran personnel to represent the Vietnamese community.  Huge thanks to VACF and Miss Vietnam DC for allowing me to be a part of this.

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Most Vietnamese-Americans here in the states were once refugees escaping communism from Vietnam.  My parents and I were also Vietnamese refugees.  Although my recollection of my experience was limited due to young age…  I still remember the sad stories they have shared with me on their journey seeking freedom.  My parents came to the states without a word of English and have worked extremely hard for the past 30 years to care for our family.  Thus, I am forever grateful for their hard work to give me the opportunity to live in a place where I can act, speak, and think without hindrance.  So, on a day like Independence Day, my fellow Vietnamese-Americans are also celebrating their freedom and gratitude to be living the American Dream.

This elaborate ao dai (Vietnamese dress) with hand-painted details and khang dong (headpiece) is made by designer, Thieu Vy from Vietnam.  I was honored to wear one of his beautiful most recent work!  Photography credits: Billy Khuong.

Disclaimer: this article is not sponsored and is simply provided to you all from my honest opinion.

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