Archive for May, 2015

May 27, 2015

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

May 27, 2015

May 28, Forty Years Ago: Solution in Laos

May 28, Forty Years Ago: Solution in Laos

Laos was signed by the US charge d’affaires, Christian Chapman, Laos’s economy minister, Soth Phetrasy, and three demonstrators.

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:   http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/may-28-forty-years-ago-solution-in-laos/

By: Express News Service | Updated: May 28, 2015 12:41 am

An agreement to end the siege of the American Aid compound in Vientiane, Laos, was signed by the US charge d’affaires, Christian Chapman, Laos’s economy minister, Soth Phetrasy, and three demonstrators. According to the agreement, the US would wind up aid programmes in Laos and withdraw all personnel before June 30.The demonstrators agreed to relinquish their occupation of the compound and allow Laotian and US AID employees to return to prepare for shutting down the offices. Student demonstrators and Pathet Lao soldiers had been occupying the compound, demanding an end to the aid programme that had drawn in $750 million since 1955.

First Published on: May 28, 2015 12:32 am

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/may-28-forty-years-ago-solution-in-laos/

May 25, 2015

The holiday’s origins can be traced back 150 years

Time - Logo

Holidays

Who Invented Memorial Day?

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May 23, 2015

Memorial Day: Dedicated To The U.S. Secret Army In the Kingdom of Laos 1961 – 1973

 

Arlington Memorial

Photo Courtesy of Charles F. Printz

In Memory of Legions Lost and the
Soldiers of the Secret War in Laos.

“ພຣະຣາຊອານາຈັກລາວ”


_______________________________________________________

We stand in tribute of forgotten men…for their sacrifice, courage
valor and honor. We honor them by this living memorial…starkly
beautiful in its simplicity, for it stands defiantly alone, as did those
soldiers in their seasons of death. It will serve as a poignant reminder
of our battlefield allies, and is a tribute long overdue to proud Human
endeavor…courage and valor in a long war lost in the unfulfilled hopes
for Southeast Asia.

As the fallen leaves of Autumn
in unregimented ranks,
Countless unrembered soldiers
rest…eternally.
Let us now praise forgotten men…
and some there be,
Which have no memorial;

Who have perished, as though
They had never been.
But they served, they died;
for cause and by happenstance…
Expended in the hopes for Southeast Asia,
and will forever be remembered,
Mourned for their sacrifice.If by weeping I could change
the course of events,
My tears would pour down ceaselessly
for a thousand Autumns.

Thursday, May 15, 1997
Salute to Lao/Hmong Patriots
& their American Advisors
Arlington National Cemetery

 _______________________________________________________

Dedicated to:
The U.S. Secret Army In the Kingdom of Laos 1961 – 1973
The story of this Memorial is a story of sacrifice and patriotic valor by American Advisors and Hmong and Lao combat soldiers in the jungles of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.HmongGeneralVangPao’s army, once considered among the best of U.S. allies, helped the Administrations of U.S. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon in the “secret” Lao Theater. The United States in its effort to combat communist insurgency in Laos, recruited, armed, and trained ethnic minorities. Advised by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),GeneralVangPao’s army of Hmong,Kmhmu, and Lao, gathered military intelligence, rescued downed U.S. air crews, protected U.S. Air Force navigational sites in Laos, and fought North Vietnamese General Vo NguyenGiap’s ever increasing forces to a standstill in Laos for a decade.When, after the fall of Laos, the communists took control, they launched a genocidal campaign to punish or eliminate those who allied with the United States, particularly those who had served in the U.S. Secret Army. Tens of thousands of Hmong escaped across the Mekong River to Thailand and refugee camps. From there, former soldiers and their families eventually were resettled in the United States. Once here, the Hmong adjustment proved difficult, but few Americans knew of their historical alliance with the U.S. adding to their resettlement problems.Because thecampaignswagedbyGeneralVangPaoandGeneralGiap were secret, most Americans knew little, if anything, of the secret war in Laos. Not until almost 20 years after falling to the communists did U.S. Government officials publicly admit the existence and role of the “U.S. Secret Army” in the “secret” Lao Theater of Operation of the Vietnam War. Appearing before Congress, in 1994, the Honorable William E. Colby, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, talked of the “heroism and effectiveness of the Hmong struggle” and the critical role and sacrifice of the Secret Army.In part, Colby said:”For 10 years,VangPao’s soldiers held the growing North Vietnamese forces toapproximatelythesamebattlelines they held in 1962. And significantly for Americans, the 70,000 North Vietnamese engaged in Laos were not available to add to the forces fighting Americans and South Vietnamese in South Vietnam.”After Ambassador Colby’s acknowledgment, a handful of Americans who knew well the Hmong alliance with the U.S. felt it timely to seek official U.S. recognition for the soldiers of the Secret Army and their American Advisors who died in Laos. Mr.Grant McClure, a former U.S. Army Advisor to the Montagnards, became the moving force behind the idea of a permanent Memorial at Arlington to nationally and publicly honor the uncommon sacrifices of the Secret Army. Mr. McClure’s efforts brought together in common cause former CIA Station Chiefs, Vietnam Veterans, Members of Congress, and others who served in civilian and military roles, as well asLieutenantColonelWangyeeVang, founder of Lao Veterans of America, Inc.Finally, after discussions with officials of the U.S. Government and the Lao Veterans of America, whose members number some 55,000 former soldiers and their families of the Secret Army, agreement on a Living Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery was reached.On May 15, 1997, some 3,000 veterans of GeneralVang Pao’s army – Hmong and Lao – dressed in jungle camouflage fatigues, flight suits, nurses uniforms stood at attention on the Mall in Washington, D.C. near the Vietnam Wall. Facing them were current Members of Congress, former U.S. Ambassadors, and the CIA Station Chiefs under whom they had served during the time of the “secret war” in Laos. A Congressional citation was read. CIA Station Chiefs paid tribute to the extraordinary contributions of GeneralVang Pao and his brave forces in the fight for freedom in Southeast Asia and assisted in handing out the Vietnam Veterans National Medal.The next day, General Vang Pao and the remnants of his army, again wearing camouflage fatigues, assembled at Arlington National Cemetery. Six deep, they stood at attention for the dedication of the Memorial Monument – a small stone topped with a copper plaque, acknowledging the “secret war” in Laos – and the Hmong, Lao, and American Advisors who valiantly served freedom’s cause in the jungles of Southeast Asia and, in so doing, died in the Lao Theater in the Vietnam War. They will now be forever known and remembered.


Contributed in Loving Respect, September 1999 by Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt,
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Author of Tragic Mountains: The Hmong,
The Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos 1942 – 1992. 

http://www.tragicmountains.org/id16.html

_______________________________________________________

Dedicated To
The U.S. Secret Army In The Kingdom Of Laos 1961 – 1973

In Memory Of the Hmong And Lao Combat Veterans And Their American Advisors Who Served Freedom’s Cause In Southeast Asia.  Their Patriotic Valor And Loyalty In The Defense Of Liberty And Democracy Will Never Be Forgotten

YOV TSHU TXOG NEJ MUS IB TXHIS
LAOS VETERANS OF AMERICA
May 15, 1997

_______________________________________________________

Dedication Ceremony Poem by Dr. Grant McClure, Counterparts: In Memory of Legions Lost and the Soldiers of the Secret War in Laos.
_______________________________________________________

We stand in tribute of forgotten men…for their sacrifice, courage valor and honor. We honor them by this living memorial…starkly beautiful in its simplicity, for it stands defiantly alone, as did those soldiers in their seasons of death. It will serve as a poignant reminder of our battlefield allies, and is a tribute long overdue to proud Human endeavor…courage and valor in a long war lost in the unfulfilled hopes for Southeast Asia.

As the fallen leaves of Autumn in unregimented ranks, Countless unrembered soldiers rest…eternally.  Let us now praise forgotten men… and some there be, Which have no memorial; Who have perished, as though They had never been.
But they served, they died; for cause and by happenstance… Expended in the hopes for Southeast Asia, and will forever be remembered, Mourned for their sacrifice. If by weeping I could change the course of events,

My tears would pour down ceaselessly for a thousand Autumns.

Dr. Grant McClure

Thursday, May 15, 1997
Salute to Lao/Hmong Patriots
& their American Advisors
Arlington National Cemetery

May 23, 2015

Press Release: Lao, Hmong Veterans Arrive in U.S. Congress, Arlington, For 40th Anniversary Ceremonies, New Legislation

Press Release:

Lao, Hmong Veterans Arrive in U.S. Congress, Arlington, For 40th Anniversary Ceremonies, New Legislation

Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia, May 14, 2015

Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families have arrived on Capitol Hill and Washington, DC to somberly mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and the joint CIA, Air America, and Hmong headquarters at Long Chieng (Long Tieng), to invading North Vietnamese Army forces on May 14-15, 1975. Lao- and Hmong-Americans will also join with the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for the introduction today of the “Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act” in the new session of Congress.

The bill is being introduced today in the U.S. Congress by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and others. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA) and Paul Cook (R-CA) are spearheading the introduction of the legislation along with Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Mike Honda (D-CA), Don Young (AK) and others. The bill, if enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama, would allow Lao- and Hmong-American veterans to be buried with honors at U.S. national veterans cemeteries administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from across the United States have arrived on Capitol Hill and Washington, DC to somberly mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, and the joint CIA, Air America, and Hmong headquarters at Long Chieng (Long Tieng), to invading North Vietnamese Army forces in May 14-15, 1975,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

Smith continued: “As part of the ‘Laos Freedom Ride’ commemoration, hundreds of Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Alaska, and other states  have traveled many miles and are arriving on buses, planes and cars for events in the U.S. Congress and Capitol Hill as well as for a special veterans’ memorial and wreath-laying service on Friday, May 15, in Arlington National Cemetery with the U.S. Department of Defense.”

“Truly, I am honored to be here in our nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery, to be part of the 40th Anniversary Ceremony to honor and pay respect to the Lao- and Hmong veterans, and our U.S. military and clandestine advisors, and to help conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” said Richard Vang, President of the Fresno, California-based Lao Veterans of America Institute. “I want to also express my deepest thanks to the U.S. Congress for the introduction of the ‘Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’ today, when we arrive and meet with the Senators and Representatives.”

“In addition to the veterans’ memorial commemoration that we will be holding tomorrow in Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 40th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in the Kingdom of Laos, I would like to stress that the legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski with Congressman Jim Costa, Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan and others, ‘The Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’, is very important to our Lao and Hmong-American community and veterans. We appreciate them honoring our Lao and Hmong-American veterans and their families, and we are hopeful that the bill will be passed and signed into law by President Obama, so that our veterans can be buried with honor at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Pasert Lee, President of the Hmong Alaska Community, Inc. and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

“We are very grateful to U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa, Paul Cook, Don Young, Sean Duffy, Devin Nunes, Collin Peterson and many others for their leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives for introducing and supporting the ‘Hmong Veterans Service Recognition Act’ and the events here today in Washington, D.C. Here in the U.S. Senate, we want to especially thank Senators Lisa Murkowski, Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Tammy Baldwin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and many others for their efforts on Capitol Hill in introducing the bill today in the U.S. Congress on this important day, May 14, just prior to our memorial service and wreath laying-ceremony tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” said Pang Mang Thao, the President of the Lao Veterans of America of Minnesota.

Pang Mang Thao is leading a delegation of some 60 Laotian and Hmong veterans, widows, and elders, from St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities area to Washington, DC and Arlington for the events today and Friday (May 14-15). Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Alaska, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and other states are participating in the events in the U.S. Congress, Washington, DC and the Lao Veterans of America monument (“Laos Monument”) in Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition to military uniforms, many of the Laotian and Hmong participants will be dressed in traditional, ethnic Laotian and Hmong tribal clothing and outfits for the events.

May 14-15 also commemorates National Lao Hmong Recognition Day, Hmong- Appreciation Day, and Lao Hmong Veterans Memorial Day, and is a day of commemoration for the Lao and Hmong people who lost their lives and country during the Vietnam War when the Kingdom of Laos fell to invading Soviet-backed North Vietnamese Army troops and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas.

###
Contact:
Jade Her or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Tele. (202)543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

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