DANA SACHS will discuss
The Life We Were Given
Thursday, April 15th 7 PM
In April 1975, the U.S. government evacuated nearly 3,000 displaced Vietnamese children just before the fall of Saigon. "Operation Babylift" was a highly publicized plan to bring Vietnamese orphans to the U.S. and other countries for adoption. Sachs, author of the memoir The House on Dream Street, conducted extensive research and countless interviews in both the U.S. and Vietnam to offer fresh insight into this complex and often controversial mission.
She explores important questions regarding adoption, international aid efforts, and the human cost of war. For example, whom were the real beneficiaries of the Babylift: the American couples who wanted to adopt children, or the children themselves? Would the children truly have died had they been left in Vietnam, as were the vast majority of the country's orphans? Why didn't the U.S., as Ted Kennedy argued in hearings at the time, send aid directly to Vietnamese orphanages and distraught families, instead of flying children out of their country?
"Much remains for others to tell," Sachs says, "and it is my hope that this account will inspire anyone affected by the airlift to share their stories, particularly with the younger generations, who cannot themselves remember."