Minnesota House Passes Measure to Create Hmong Veterans Day
ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota House today unanimously passed a provision championed by Minnesota's Asian Pacific Caucus to create a state holiday recognizing Hmong veterans who served in the U.S. Vietnam War. The Senate has passed Sen. Foung Hawj's companion bill.
"It falls upon my four colleagues of Hmong descent and me to do what we can to soothe the restless spirits of America's Secret War Veterans and their families, to give them a day of recognition for their suffering and their sacrifices," said Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood). "This amendment seeks to remind Americans and Minnesotans that the United States and this chamber is a country and legislative body that does not forget its friends, especially friends that fought alongside American soldiers for the values this great nation stands for."
May 14 of each year will be designated as Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial Day in honor of Southeast Asians, Americans, and their allies who served, sacrificed, or died in the Secret War in Laos during the Vietnam War in support of the United States. May 14 was the last day of airlift evacuation of officers and their families from the covert headquarters in Long Tieng, Laos, to the Nam Phong refugee camp in Thailand. At least 35,000 Hmong Special Guerrilla Unit soldiers lost their lives protecting American troops.
Video of Rep. Xiong's remarks is available here.
The MAP Caucus members include Assistant Majority Leader Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), MAP Caucus Chair Samantha Vang (DFL - Brooklyn Park) Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL- St. Paul), Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood), Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL- St. Paul), and Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL - St. Paul).