Minnesota Senate









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Authors and Status

S.R. No. 127, as introduced: 90th Legislative Session (2017-2018) Posted on February 20, 2018

1.1A Senate resolution
1.2expressing the sense of the Senate recognizing May 14 as Hmong-Lao Veterans
1.3Memorial Day for all who have served, died, and suffered in the Secret War in Laos
1.4during the Vietnam War in the years 1961 to 1975.
1.5WHEREAS, in 1961, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States recruited
1.6and trained the Hmong and Lao hill tribe as the Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU) to support America
1.7during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1975; and
1.8WHEREAS, the Hmong and Lao SGU were best known for their heroic valor in intercepting
1.9enemy supply lines and rescuing American pilots. When America withdrew from Southeast Asia,
1.10Hmong were driven out by the new regime who had been their long-time enemy; and
1.11WHEREAS, May 14, 1975, was the last day of airlift evacuation of officers and their families
1.12from the covert headquarters in Long Tieng, Laos, to the Nam Phong refugee camp in Thailand;
1.13the thousands left behind went into hiding in the jungles of Laos and escaped across the Mekong
1.14River. Many perished without proper burial, ceremony, or closure to their families and loved ones,
1.15making the death toll more than 40,000 and nearly wiping out the Hmong populations in Laos; and
1.16WHEREAS, the ones who survived became refugees in Thailand and were dispersed to
1.17Western countries like France, Canada, Australia, Argentina, and the United States, thus creating
1.18a diaspora of Hmong and Lao people; and
1.19WHEREAS, today, Minnesota is home to one of the largest Hmong communities in the
1.20United States, where the Hmong and Lao have established a strong and vibrant community enriched
1.21with diversity, cultural identity, and economic sustainability; and
1.22WHEREAS, on the 14th day of May, we remember the hardship, sacrifice, courage, and
1.23contributions of Hmong-Lao veterans and their families during the course of their exodus from
1.24Laos to the United States, and the devotion of Hmong-Americans and Lao-Americans to our
1.25community, our state, and our nation; and
2.1NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that it
2.2calls for May 14 to be recognized as Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial Day, a day to reflect on,
2.3honor, and remember the service and sacrifices of the Hmong and Lao soldiers who fought and
2.4died in the Secret War in Laos during the Vietnam War.
2.5BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is directed to prepare an
2.6enrolled copy of this resolution, to be authenticated by the Secretary's signature and that of the
2.7Chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and transmit it to the Hmong SGU
Cal R. LudemanSecretary of the Senate Paul E. GazelkaChair, Senate Committee onRules and Administration
Foung HawjState Senator, District 67

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