From Fresno to the World: Hmong American Day Puts Spotlight on Remarkable Contributions
On a vibrant Saturday at the Fresno Center, the city of Fresno came together to commemorate Hmong American Day, paying homage to the indelible contributions of the Hmong people throughout United States history. Among their notable achievements stands the unwavering bravery displayed by the Hmong during the Vietnam War, fighting side by side with the United States. As we marked the 48th anniversary of the final airlift, the spirit of remembrance and gratitude enveloped the event.
Mayor Jerry Dyer proudly declared an official proclamation, positioning Fresno as the trailblazer in California, leading the way in officially honoring Hmong American Day. The celebration on Saturday shed light on the rich tapestry of Hmong Americans, showcasing their historical significance and cultural magnificence not only within Fresno but also beyond its borders.
Dyer eloquently expressed, “We pay tribute to the Hmong people who gallantly served, endured injuries, and made the ultimate sacrifice, ensuring that the United States remains the beacon of freedom. We forever carry the weight of gratitude for their selflessness.” He further emphasized the remarkable impact of Hmong Americans across various domains such as business, education, public safety, and government, enriching and elevating the city’s landscape for generations to come.
In the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) meticulously trained and equipped Hmong hill tribespeople, an ethnic minority, to serve as an indomitable guerrilla force, actively engaging in the covert “Secret War” aimed at halting the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. As the war neared its end, the Hmong valiantly battled against Communist insurgents and their North Vietnamese allies, as recounted by NPR. Consequently, a significant number of Hmong refugees and their families sought solace in the United States, with Fresno emerging as their second-largest community, surpassed only by Minneapolis. Presently, approximately 35,000 Hmong individuals thrive within the region, leaving an indelible mark on its cultural fabric.