Hundreds of Vietnamese Canadians celebrate the first “Journey to Freedom Day” in Ottawa by doing something they would not be able to do in Vietnam, rallying in the streets.

This year the Canadian government designated April 30th as “Journey to Freedom Day”.

It marks the fall of Saigon, the end of the Vietnam war, and the beginning of Canada's role accepting refugees. Canada opened its doors to 60,000 Vietnamese boat people.

Nam La, was one of 4,000 boat people who came to live in Ottawa. He arrived here in November 1979, with only a pair of shorts and the t-shirt on his back.

I remember that first day, I came to Canada,” says La. “I went into the hotel, and thinking I was in heaven.”

Now, the second generation of Vietnamese Canadians, say marking this day will help to keep history alive for many more generations to come.