Dedication Ceremony to Unveil the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial

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SUABHMONG-2016-00277
September 21, 2016
        
For more information, contact:
Peter Yang at (715) 203-5282 / peteryang0015@gmail.com
                                        
Dedication Ceremony to Unveil the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial
 
WAUSAU, WI – There will be a dedication ceremony to unveil the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial monument outside of the Marathon County Courthouse, 500 Forest Street, Wausau, Wisconsin. 
The event is open to the public and will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Eastside lawn of the courthouse (near 6th Street).  The ceremony will include wreath presentations, speakers and T-28 fighter planes flying over, followed by a lunch reception.
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The bronze statue includes two Hmong soldiers rescuing a downed American pilot standing on top of a solid black granite base. The purpose of the monument is to recognize and honor all Hmong and Lao veterans of the Vietnam War. This unique Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial is the only of its kind in the country.
 
The Hmong and Lao were recruited by the CIA in the 1960’s to fight against the communist North Vietnamese and the Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War. Hmong soldiers, some as young as 10 years old, rescued downed American pilots, engaged with communist troops, and guarded strategic U.S. installations.
 
After the U.S. pulled out of South Vietnam and Laos in 1973, the Hmong were targeted by the communist regime.  Many were taken to re-education camps, put into hard labor and starvations which led many to their deaths.  Thousands of Hmong fled their homes to avoid persecution and bloodshed, and many settled in the U.S.
 
Today, Wisconsin is home to the third largest Hmong population in the U.S. Currently more than 7,000 Hmong Americans reside in Marathon County, making Wausau and Marathon County the second largest Hmong community in Wisconsin and the 8th largest in the nation.
 
The monument will be an important symbol of recognition of the Hmong and Lao veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices.  In addition, it will provide educational opportunities for current and future generations as to the reason the Hmong and Lao came to resettle in the Marathon County area and Wisconsin.
 
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