Sailors aboard USS Kirk during the Fall of Saigon to be honored - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sailors aboard USS Kirk during the Fall of Saigon to be honored in Balboa Park

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The sailors of the frigate USS Kirk, who helped rescue thousands during the fall of Saigon, are scheduled to be honored this weekend at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.

Organizers of the event said the Kirk was assigned in April 1975 to lead an effort to save what remained of the South Vietnamese Navy as communist North Vietnamese forces closed in.

When the frigate reached Con Son Island, it was met by thousands of South Vietnamese awaiting them in craft ranging from rickety fishing boats and cargo scow to Navy ships flying the South Vietnamese flag. The Kirk's sailors led the desperate flotilla on a six-day voyage to safety.

Numerous officials and members of the Vietnamese community in Southern California are scheduled to participate in a ceremony that will include proclamations from federal and local officials.

"The Lucky Few," a documentary about the exodus from South Vietnam, will be screened Sunday at the nearby Museum of Photographic Arts. A question-and-answer session is also scheduled.

Rosalynn Carmen, president of the Asian Heritage Society, called the event "a rare and wonderful opportunity for teachers and students. Now students can learn history firsthand from the people who made it -- both the crew and many of those they rescued and guided to safety."

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