SANTA ANA — I just about fell out of my chair the other day when I received an announcement from the City of Santa Ana that they plan to hold a ceremony and dedication to recognize that they are the home of the Birthplace of the Vietnamese community in Orange County.
Join the Santa Ana City Council and Abbot Thich Minh Nguyen as they gather at the Truc Lam Yen Temple to honor the Vietnamese community. A ceremonial press event will designate this temple as the birthplace of the Vietnamese community in Orange County.
I was offended, and I’m not Vietnamese. To hold such a ceremony just days before the community recognition of the most significant event in the history of the South Vietnamese people, Black April, demonstrates a level of gall and lack of community understanding I didn’t think the City Council possessed. So I asked around and found that many in the Vietnamese community find the designation a bit of a stretch.
In general, I’ve heard that the Vietnamese community will never accept or admit that Santa Ana is the birthplace of the Vietnamese community. It is idiotic to come up with that idea and it will be an adverse reaction from the community. The Vietnamese community would prefer Orange County is their birthplace.
For the most part though, the people I spoke with felt the Vietnamese community is focused on everyday life and the commemoration of a sad day in Vietnamese history, the fall of Saigon, and the lost of the country to communism. On person told me:
Interesting that Santa Ana is claiming a location within its city limits, a Buddhist Temple, to being the birthplace of the Vietnamese community.
Will they have to designate the Vietnamese Catholic Center, also in Santa Ana, a birthplace as well?
I scoured the council meeting agenda’s and minutes to find when the council made its decision to recognize the temple, I was unsuccessful. Maybe one of our readers can find where the resolution, and staff time to coordinate the event, was authorized?
I find the designation, and inference of the resolution and event, that Santa Ana is the “Birthplace of the Vietnamese Community” is another attempt to claim significance where none exists. Just like their incessant promotion of the flawed designation by Forbes that Santa Ana is the “Fourth Safest City in the U.S.” this designation is transparent when placed under the spotlight of reality.
I’m reminded that Santa Ana was the last city to recognize a Little Saigon business district designation. The only sign designating the Little Saigon area was removed because of damage. While the damaged sign needed to be taken down, the city could have fixed it and kept it up.
One reader summed it up this way:
No one in the Vietnamese community believes this yet alone cares. So it’s really laughable.
The designation ceremony and press event will occur on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 11:15 a.m. at the Truc Lam Yen Tu Temple, 1924 W. Second Street, Santa Ana, CA 92703. If you can make it, you’ll get a free lunch too.
Election season seems to inspire interesting efforts by elected officials.