Wausau area Hmong community honors leader - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau area Hmong community honors leader

WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Members of the Hmong community gathered to remember one of their heroes. One year ago, on January 6, 2011, General Vang Pao died. Pao played an important role in the Vietnam War. The general helped bring many Hmongs to the United States.

Today, the area Hmong community held a memorial in Pao's honor. Speakers at the memorial described him as a great hero, fighter of oppression, advocate for justice, and a father of the Hmong people.

"The Hmong people call him the father," said Peter Yang, CEO of the Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association. "Wherever he goes, people really respect him and all the things he has done for the Hmong people for the last 60 years," he said.

Pao played an important role in bringing Hmong people to the United States after the Vietnam War. Because of this, he was loved by many.

"In the time that he passed away we feel that it's very important for the Hmong community to gather together," said event Public Relations Coordinator Maichao Lor.

One year after his death, members of the Hmong community gathered to pay their respects.

"All the things our leader Vang Pao has done for the Hmong people, this is a small thing we can do to contribute to his legacy and his life," Yang said.

Yang said some Hmong members had a hard time dealing with Pao's death.

"People feel a very big sense of loss. The person who has given you guidance, leadership and love is no longer there. People feel a big sense of loss when he died," said Yang.

This event is one Yang hopes can be carried on. He says they hope to make it an annual event, in order to continue carrying on his work and legacy.

Speakers said the Hmong people became orphans after Pao's death. But they say they are moving on, because it's what the general would have wanted.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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