Evers lowers U.S. and Wisconsin flags for Hmong-Lao veterans

Memorial honors sacrifices of Hmong-Lao veterans

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers on Friday ordered that the flags of the United States and state of Wisconsin be flown at half-staff in honor of the Hmong-Lao veterans and signed a bill declaring May 14 Hmong-Lao Veterans Day in Wisconsin.

“I’m honored to be here today as we express our respect and gratitude for the contributions of Hmong people both here in our state and across our country by declaring May 14th in Wisconsin as Hmong-Lao Veterans Day,” said Evers. “It’s not only important that we recognize the dedicated service of the Hmong-Lao veterans who risked their lives in the Vietnam War and their families made in coming to the United States, it’s also critical that we ensure future generations understand the sacrifices these individuals made in service.”

In his order, Evers noted that thousands of Hmong-Lao people fought alongside Americans during the Vietnam War and were met with harsh retribution from the Vietnamese and Lao governments.

“Hmong-Lao soldiers suffered, sacrificed, and many laid down their lives in support of American armed forces, a service to the United States that ultimately forced many of these veterans and their families to flee their homelands, resettling in communities throughout the United States, including Wisconsin,” Evers said in the order.

Friday is the 46th anniversary of the last day of airlift evacuations of officers and their families from Laos, taking them to the Nam Phong refugee camp in Thailand.