Vu maintains contact with relatives still in Vietnam (three of her six siblings are now in the U.S.). And while things are "better" in her native country than when the communists first took over, she says, "It is still a government-controlled country." Citing as one example the restrictions on her Catholic church, Vu says the church must ask permission from the government "about what time they can do the Mass."
America is too often criticized for its actual and perceived shortcomings. Critics seem incapable of appreciating America's exceptionalism, including President Obama who has dismissed the notion by saying everyone feels their country is exceptional. If that were true, why do so many want to come here? Perhaps it takes someone like Kim Vu to remind the rest of us not only of the cost of freedom, but just how fragile freedom is and how it must be constantly fought for if it is to be maintained.
More than anything else we might possess, or hope to possess, freedom ought to be at the top of every American's list of things for which we should be thankful every day, not just at Thanksgiving.