Laos, Hmong Veterans Memorial Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery
WASHINGTON, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA) and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) will hold a memorial and wreath laying ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the 32nd Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in Laos and to honor Hmong and Laotian veterans who served during the conflict (from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at the Lao Veterans Memorial Monument, Grant Ave., Sec. 2, Arlington National Cemetery ). Ethnic Hmong and Laotian veterans and their refugee families, who served in the U.S. Secret Army during the Vietnam War, will participate and attend. "We will gather at the Lao Veterans of America monument in Arlington Cemetery to honor the memory of our beloved nation of Laos and the many thousands of fallen Lao and Hmong veterans and their families, our families, who died fighting to defend their homeland from invasion and attack by Communist Pathet Lao forces," stated Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President and founder of the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. "It was ten years ago that we first gathered in Arlington Cemetery and in Washington, D.C., for the first-ever National Recognition Ceremonies that allowed us to dedicate this sacred monument to the Lao and Hmong veterans and their American advisors who served together in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War to defend the national security interests and sovereignty of both the Kingdom of Laos and its ally the United States," Wangyee Vang concluded. The Lao Veterans of America, Inc. is the nation's largest Laotian and Hmong veterans organization and represents thousands of veterans and their refugee families in the United States. The memorial service will mark the 32nd anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in Laos and honor the Laotian and Hmong veterans, and their American advisors, who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Participation will also include an official U.S. military joint armed forces color guard, wreath bearer and bugler. "Today, it is still important, for many reasons, to remember and memorialize the sacrifices and suffering of the Laotian and Hmong people during the Vietnam War in support of the Kingdom of Laos and U.S. national security interests," stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis who also serves as the Washington, D.C. Director for the Lao Veterans of America. "After the war, tens of thousands of people died at the brutal and bloody hands of the Pathet Lao communist regime, a corrupt, one-party military regime that still rules Laos today and continues to persecute and kill its own freedom-loving people -- especially peaceful dissidents, student leaders as well as ethnic and religious minority groups," Smith concluded. A recent 25-page report by Amnesty International released in March of 2007 documents ongoing human rights violations by the Lao government against the Hmong and Laotian people. Speakers include: Colonel Wangyee Vang, President, Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA); Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, Hmong & Laotian Scholar; Philip Smith, Executive Director, Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA); Grant McClure, Counterparts Military Advisors Association; and others. The event is cosponsored by the Lao Veterans of America, the Center for Public Policy Analysis, Arlington National Cemetery and other organizations.
SOURCE Lao Veterans of America, Inc.; Center for Public Policy Analysis
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