All posts tagged: War

A 2015 Memorial Day First: Monument to Honor Hmong and Lao Veterans

Saturday, May 16th marked a historical moment for acknowledgment of Hmong and Lao veterans in Minnesota. Hundreds of invited Hmong and Lao veterans community, leaders, and public officials gathered in the capitol lawn of Saint Paul, for a breaking ground event to mark the first Hmong Lao Memorial Monument. The memorial will be built on the front lawn in the upcoming year ahead. The memorial’s design is reported to be a bronze bamboo shoot representing growth and prosperity. The monument will honor the over 80,000 Hmong and Lao soldiers who took part in the efforts with the United States military and CIA operations during the Laotian Civil War and Vietnam War era. The memorial’s success was a coordinated effort with local Hmong and Lao veteran community in MN, as well as similar movements across the states. It’s expected to finish by 2016, funded by an approved bonding bill and private contributions from the community. While the memorial is an important step towards recognition of Hmong and Lao veterans and their sacrifices, the next step for legislators to truly acknowledge veterans and their …

Fred Branfman, activist and author of Voices from the Plain of Jars, passes away at age 72

Activist and writer, Fred Branfman, died last week from motor neuron disease (commonly referred as ALS). Fred passed away at his home in Budapest, Hungary; with his wife, international journalist, Zsuzsa Béres and his brothers Dave, Alan, and Yaakov Branfman by his side. To those who knew him, he was simply known as Fred. To the rest of the world, he was known as the man who exposed the truth of the devastating impact on the people of Laos, from the US government’s secret bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. “…Of all of my life experiences, the most profound by far, was discovering the 5-year-long bombing of some of the poorest and kindest people on earth by the richest, most technologically sophisticated and violent. To find that this discovery, which shook me to the very core of my being, would affect every minute of my life thereafter – as, firstly, it led me to spend much of my life fighting injustice and, second and in some ways more profoundly, to embark on a lifelong quest to understand the real meaning of …