HOF002: Nguyen Ba Trieu
On April 29, 1975, the day before the Fall of Saigon, pastries store owner Nguyen Trieu brought three of his nine children to the U.S. embassy and joined a throng of people seeking the means to leave Vietnam with the last of the departing Americans. In the mere half minute or so that the gates were open, Nguyen and his children managed to squeeze themselves past the guards and into the compound. They were helicoptered to a U.S. war ship, which brought them to Guam, then Camp Pendleton in California. Because he spoke French, Nguyen decided to apply for refugee status in Canada. Making a new home in Ottawa, they drew on the many instances of generosity they encountered and a determination to regain what they had lost for their success rebuilding their lives.