State Rep. Rena Moran (District 65A)
St. Paul, Minn. (January 14, 2011) – State Rep. Rena Moran (DFL – St. Paul) delivered the following speech on the Minnesota House floor on Thursday, January 13th to honor the memory of General Vang Pao, who recently passed away at the age of 81.
“My heartfelt condolences go out to the Hmong American community and to Hmong all over the world. The passing of General Vang Pao is an immeasurable loss to all of us, Hmong or non-Hmong, well versed in the story of the secret war in Laos, or new to the Hmong American community.
General Vang Pao and the Hmong fighters he commanded, fought bravely as allies of the United States, during the conflict in Southeast Asia in the sixties and seventies. The gallantry of the Hmong fighters saved uncountable American lives. Thousands of Hmong soldiers and civilians paid the ultimate price for their valor.
Vang Pao led a Hmong community in Laos and America that shared the American loves of freedom and independence. He was a man of principle, a military and visionary leader, who loved his people and made the courageous decision for the Hmong to leave Laos and move to the United States. Once here, he helped the community continue its fight for the rights that we hold dear as Americans.
In honor of his service and dedication to democracy, let us view the General’s passing not as the end but as the turning of a page in the story of our shared pursuit of liberty.”