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Gov. Evers Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of Hmong-Lao Veterans Day

Proclaims “Hmong-Lao Veterans Day” Across the State

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #200 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Sun., May 14, 2023, in honor of Hmong-Lao Veterans Day.

“Each year, on Hmong-Lao Veterans Day, we honor and recognize the thousands of Hmong-Lao veterans who courageously fought alongside the United States in the Vietnam War and who call Wisconsin home today,” said Gov. Evers. “The story of Hmong-Lao veterans and their service is integral to the story of Wisconsin, and I am proud to once again lower the flags as we commend them for their service and sacrifice.”

During the Vietnam War, thousands of Hmong-Lao people courageously fought alongside the United States and, following the end of the war, faced harsh retribution from the Vietnamese and Lao governments for their service. Many Hmong-Lao soldiers and their families were ultimately forced to flee their homes, and many later resettled in communities throughout the United States, including in Wisconsin. Today, Wisconsin is home to the third-largest Hmong population in the United States.

On May 14, 2021, Gov. Evers signed 2021 Wisconsin Act 31, designating May 14 as Hmong-Lao Veterans Day in Wisconsin, as May 14, 1975, was the last day of airlift evacuation of remaining Hmong-Lao soldiers and their families from the covert headquarters in Long Tieng, Laos to the Nam Phong refugee camp in Thailand. 2021 Wisconsin Act 31 requires the governor to annually issue a proclamation for the observance of Hmong-Lao Veterans Day that orders the flags at the State Capitol Building to be flown at half-staff, requests that the day be used to recall veterans’ accomplishments and to thank veterans for their service, and encourages schools to discuss Hmong military service in support of the armed forces of the United States.

In addition to signing Executive Order #200, Gov. Evers has proclaimed May 14 as Hmong-Lao Veterans Day in Wisconsin each year since assuming office in 2019. A copy of the governor’s 2023 “Hmong-Lao Veterans Day” proclamation is available here.

From the Dunn County Facebook page.

Below is a Proclamation from Gov. Evers acknowledging Hmong-Lao Veterans Day on May 14, 2023. Dunn County Veterans Service Officer Greg Quinn reiterated the importance of the sacrificial contribution of thousands of Hmong-Loa Veterans who supported American troops, many who reside in Dunn County and the Chippewa Valley. Asian Americans comprise about 3% of the population of Dunn County. This is a moment when words fall short of expressing sincere gratitude and thanks to those who have served.

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