Mourning the loss of a Hmong leader - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Mourning the loss of a Hmong leader

By Bonnie Shelton

ROTHSCHILD (WAOW)--Community members gathered at the Rothschild Pavilion Saturday to remember the life of General Vang Pao.

Members of the Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association planned the memorial to allow community members to honor the revered and iconic leader.

"The Hmong community in Marathon County have felt pretty sad about his passing and many people wanted to go to California for his funeral, but they can't," said Executive Director Peter Yang.


That's why they planned to live stream Vang Pao's funeral in Fresno at the Rothschild Pavilion. Community members also saw the day-long memorial as a teaching opportunity.

"It's for the younger generation as well. They didn't really know who Vang Pao was because they grew up here in the united states," said memorial coordinator Qou Lee.


Vang Pao was born and raised in Laos and gained support by leading the resistance against Laotian and Vietnamese communists during the Vietnam war.

Throughout the ceremony people were able to pay their respects, and learn about the legacy of the man many credit for bringing the Hmong people to the United States.

Many attendees were saddened that the request to have Vang Poa buried at Arlington National Cemetery was denied, but they said it won't stop them from honoring his life and achievements for the Hmong people.

"We will never have a person like him again...a person who has worked so hard and has led the Hmong people so far. We have come a long way," said Yang.


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