The proposed Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial has been on a long journey. Plans for a memorial were first suggested nearly a decade ago. Finally, after overcoming numerous setbacks, the fundraising goal of $150,000 was met just last weekend. I was proud to be there during the final gift presentation that made the tally official. Both the House and Governor have included the $450,000 bonding request in their recommendations, and I am hoping the Senate’s version (SF 651) will include it as well.
The Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial is not only the first of its kind in Minnesota; it symbolizes the right to be here in Minnesota and is designed to be all-inclusive representing six different groups of people who fought during the war. This symbol is long overdue, and it’s my hope we can finish it soon before even more veterans who served in the war are gone. Many first generation soldiers who came to America after the war have already left us, it’s important to the Hmong and Lao people to show them our respect before it’s too late.
The Minnesota Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial Committee should be commended for their years of hard work. The site for the future memorial is ready and waiting, just south of the Vietnam Memorial among the Capitol grounds in St. Paul. The required money has been raised for the cost of the memorial, and the only thing we wait for now is to be included in the bonding bill.
Great news for many and a huge “Thank You” to all!