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Laos, Hmong Veterans Remembered at Vietnam Memorial in Washington, Arlington
Laotian and Hmong veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos, and their families, are marking the solemn anniversary of the bloody fall of Long Cheng (Long Tieng) and the Royal Kingdom of Laos to invading Soviet-backed North Vietnamese troops and Communist Pathet Lao guerillas on May 14-15, 1975, at flower laying memorials being held today at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., at Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Air Force Memorial, and Marine Corps' Iwo Jima Memorial in Virginia, the Lao Hmong Veterans Monument in Fresno, California, in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Providence, Rhode Island, Paris, France, Bangkok, Thailand, and elsewhere in the U.S. and globally.
"We will always remember our Lao Hmong veterans and their families who served in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and U.S. national security interests during the Vietnam War, so that they will never be forgotten," said Major Cheurchai Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America (LVA) and Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), of Fresno, California.
"Flowers were laid, and candles lit, in honor and remembrance of those many thousands of Lao, Hmong, American, French and other freedom loving peoples who suffered and died in Laos during the Vietnam War," said Philip Smith, Washington, D.C. Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and National Liaison for the LVA and LVAI. "These burning candles and flowers help to forever remind us of those tens of thousands of freedom-loving people who fought and died fighting and fleeing invading Russian Soviet-backed Communist North Vietnamese troops and Pathet Lao guerillas during the invasion of Laos and the Vietnam War and its aftermath."
"At Arlington National Cemetery, and at the Vietnam War Memorial, we will never forget our fellow American soldiers, veterans, and Lao, Hmong, Vietnamese and Cambodian allies who served together as brothers during the Vietnam War to defend freedom and our national security," said Roger Whitfield, of the National Association for Black Veterans.
"We have come many times to Washington, D.C. to honor our Lao- and Hmong-American veterans and families at the Vietnam War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Congress and Capitol Hill," said Pang Mang Thao, President of the Minnesota Lao Veterans of America of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. "This year, we again honor and remember them, especially those who served in the U.S. Special Forces and also the many thousands of innocent refugees who the Communist forces of North Vietnam persecuted and killed during the invasion of our beloved country."
The CPPA, LVA, LVAI, National Association for Black Veterans, U.S. Special Forces Association, Minnesota LVA, U.S. Congress and others joined together in remembrance.
Jade Her/ Philip Smith