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All signs point to Little Saigon — on the Interstate 15 exits to El Cajon Boulevard, that is.

Su Nguyen, representative of the Little Saigon San Diego Foundation, called it a historic moment for San Diego’s Vietnamese-American community when new freeway signs that will point travelers to the Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District were unveiled Friday. 

“I am really, — when talking about it — I’m really emotional because we are refugees,” Nguyen said.

Two people at the ceremony Friday were among the first refugees to take root in San Diego after the Fall of Saigon in 1975, the year hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people sought new lives in America. 

The Little Saigon District, a six-block corridor of Vietnamese restaurants and shops along El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue in City Heights, was officially recognized by the city of San Diego in 2013 as the Vietnamese epicenter of San Diego.

The signs read “Little Saigon, Next Exit,” and will hang on the transit center that passes over I-15 at El Cajon Boulevard. Caltrans said they will install the signs in the coming days.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria was among a group of local representatives that pushed the state to add the new freeway signs above the freeway. On Friday, he praised the quick action the legislature to get Little Saigon recognized on the state level. 

“With these signs that we’re about to unveil everyone who travels up and down the I-15 will know that there is a cultural district here on El Cajon Boulevard that they should absolutely come and visit, come shop at and visit time and time again,” Gloria said.

Little Saigon Foundation of San Diego raised funds for the signs through the annual Lunar New Year Tet Festival, a Vietnamese celebration held each winter to recognize the new year, as well as through contributions from local businesses and community donations. 

The resolution to install the signs was officially filed with the Secretary of State last Sept.

Credit: NBC San Diego.

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