* A family is where life begins and where love never ends.
I would like to say a few words about my Ong Ngoai and what made him so special to me. For those here that do not know me, my name is Peter.
When I was young, I would spend my summers in California with my Ong Ngoai. He always taught me my true roots of being Vietnamese and how much I should value family. The one memory of my Ong Ngoai that sticks out to me is him making me work on his garden. He wanted his front and back yard full of fruits and everyday my cousin Daniel and I would help him plant all these fruit trees. I have to admit, I hated it and I may even be traumatized with gardening. My Ong Ngoai loves his garden, he treats it like it was family. He’s so happy watering his plants and having everyone enjoy the fruits fresh from his backyard. When I look back, I am happy that I helped with the plants and that my Ong Ngoai cherishes it. Daniel and I are always mentioned when it comes to these fruits and that puts a smile to my face.
Family is the most important thing to my Ong Ngoai. I know he will be with us forever. He will be at my wedding next year and I will help him become a Great Grandfather one day.
I will cherish all of the time we spent together and will always remember everything he taught me. I will see you again one day Ong Ngoai. I love you and I miss you.
* For those who don’t know me, my name is Jessica Anh Thu Chau and I want to say a few words in memory of my grandfather. First off, thank you for being here and taking time out of your day as we celebrate the life of my grandfather.
Veteran, friend, brother, grandfather, father, and husband.
Ong Phero Ly Trong Le lived a remarkable life, one that inspired me greatly.
My grandfather has had such a huge impact on my life. Why, you ask? It’s because of the kind of person that he is and all of the things he has accomplished in his life. He has been successful at everything he has ever done and has never failed at anything he has ever tried. His kindness, love and good examples were stepping stones for many to follow.
To this day, I look up to him. I can only hope that one day I can make him proud. My grrandfather has shown me the beauty of imagination. He has given me a glimpse of the boy he once was and I have grown up admiring the strong and loving man he was.
I’ll miss the news of his adventures, and I’ll miss the stories from the countries he visited; I’ll miss the laughs he made; I’ll miss the warmth he extended to everyone he met; I’ll miss the speeches he would make on his birthday; I’ll miss my grandfather dearly, but I will treasure his memory forever. He was not just my grandfather – he was my inspiration and forever will be.
I would like to dedicate a song to him:
Sorry, I’ve never told you, all I wanted to say And now it’s too late to hold you ‘Cause you’ve flown away So far away
Never had I imagined Living without your smile Feelin’ and knowing you, hear me It keeps me alive, alive
And I know you’re shining down on me from Heaven Like so many friends we’ve lost along the way And I know eventually we’ll be together One sweet day Eventually I’ll see you in Heaven
Jessica Anh Thu
* I’m very sad I didn’t get to see him one last time. I’m even more sad that I am learning more bout him and his legacy after he was gone. He was so handsome, good volleyball player, was a general, was the mayor, and must have been a gentleman to be able to sweet talk to ba noi. He was always very strong and self made.he was constantly battling cancer and all the other illnesses. Most people after the heart surgery live only 6-8 more years. For him, he exercised and ate brown rice to make it to 12 years. He really wanted to live, but not for himself but to see us succeed, to see us grow up, get married, with good jobs. Always made me feel like I was precious, special, worth something and would brag to me about how similar we are. He was so proud of me for doing 500 hours of community service at the hospital to go to college but grandpa, you are way more impressive and amazing than i am. Grandpa did thousands of comm services hrs despite his old age because he wanted to serve his country and make good use of his life even though he has already spent most of his life dedicated to the country and serving others.
But I am very happy to be able to hear his last words.
On my last visit with my cousins from Canada, a nurse was doing her check ups. She asked him if he knew us. He said yes I know them very well in English. Then she asked, you should be happy! And he said yes, I very happy.
I just realized last night that he is happy because we were all there together. At all our family reunions he talks about how it’s always a special occasion for us to be able to get together like this and how we are very lucky to still have each other. We used to laugh sometimes because his speeches were very long and repetitive but we would love to hear him give a speech one more time. But I always took home the message that he always wants us to stick together and be there for each other. I am happy to know that when he passed he was happy. And I know that right now, he is looking at us and is very happy to know that even when it is his funeral, it is still a special occasion for us to all come together and remember that family is most important. He used to cry happy tears whenever he saw us together and gave that speech. I loved him so much because he is a strict army general but at the same time he is also my very loving grandfather with a very caring heart.
Grandpa, I love you and I miss you everyday but you can finally rest now and rest in peace knowing that the family that you’ve spent decades to raise are still sticking together and always will.
* Ba yêu dấu!
Sự ra đi của Ba để lại cho chúng con một niềm đau đớn vô hạn! Ba ơi dẫu biết rằng thân xác này có kết hợp tất có ngày tan rã. Nhưng tình yêu của Ba, sự tận tụy của Ba đối với Mạ và ghi dấu mãi trong tim của chúng con.
Chúng con luôn tự hào có người cha đạo đức mẫu mực, Mạ có người chồng thủy chung, xã hội có người công dân tốt, đất nước có một quân nhân trung thành với Tổ Quốc. Cũng vì do để trọn nghĩa vợ chồng, bổn phận với các con, mà vào lúc sắp mất nước, Ba đã từ bỏ chuyến bay đưa Ba cùng các đồng nghiệp sang Mỹ, để rồi sau đó Ba phải lãnh lấy hơn 10 năm lao tù. Hậu quả của những ngày lao tù là bệnh tật. Cơn bệnh mà Ba đã chống chỏi một cách kiên cường trong bao năm! Lòng chúng con xót xa vô ngần. Ba ơi! Chúng con thương Ba, kính trọng Ba vô ngần mà không ngôn từ nào có thể diễn đạt được.
Chúng con cám ơn Ba đã sinh ra chúng con và cho chúng con những cái tên rất đẹp. Các con gái là các địa danh nơi Ba làm việc, cũng như quê cha đất tổ: Thác Yaly ở Kontum. Hàng Thùy Dương phơi mình bên bờ cát trắng Nha Trang. Hương Giang uốn khúc quanh kinh đô Huế. Làng Thanh Thủy êm đềm dọc theo sân bay Phú Bài. Các con trai của Ba là những lời ngọc vàng Ba giáo huấn: Phải có lòng trọng Nhân, trọng Nghĩa…sống một đời phải luôn Quang-Minh-Chánh-Đại. Chúng con hiểu Ba đã kỳ vọng vào chúng con, đã đặt tên chúng con như một nhắc nhở.
Giờ đây Ba đã về nước Chúa, Ba đang ở bên Người. Tình yêu của Ba sẽ mãi mãi là vì sao sáng cho đời chúng con. Con xin thay mặt con cháu xin lạy Ba 3 lạy để đền đáp công ơn sinh thành, dưỡng dục. Mạ cùng con cháu kính tiễn Ba về cõi Vĩnh Hằng
Nhân và Mai Hương