HomeSoutheast Asian AmericanVigil held on 2-year anniversary of Grandpa Vicha’s death

Vigil held on 2-year anniversary of Grandpa Vicha’s death

by Danielle Cho, AsAmNews Intern

Friends, family, neighbors, and allies gathered in San Francisco Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square Saturday night to remember Vicha Ratanapakdee on the second anniversary of his death. The Thai immigrant’s killing is considered to be the first in a wave of anti-Asian crimes in San Francisco.

Saturday night’s vigil and lantern lighting commemorated Grandpa Vicha’s passing as well as the victims of violence from the shooting at Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. With the start of the new lunar year, the lantern ceremony symbolizes new beginnings and good luck. A time meant to be a joyous celebration instead serves as a reminder of the violence that plagues the Asian American community in disturbingly increasing numbers.

The vigil shared a message of healing in the face of sorrow and grief for the loss of loved ones and fellow Asian Americans. Julia Quon, a volunteer who acted as MC for the night, shared that the gathering was only made possible through the efforts of a community that supports each other.

“I wish for all the victims and survivors of AAPI hate to not only heal but feel empowered enough to one day share their story and hopefully find justice for themselves,” said Quon.

Raymond Wong, one of the volunteers who helped organize the event, shares his wish for the community as he demonstrates how to participate in the lantern ceremony. // Photo by Danielle Cho

Monthanus Ratanapakdee, daughter of Grandpa Vicha, continues to seek justice for the death of her father. She implored others not to grow numb to the violence or stay compliant.

“I wish for our community to be safe in the future and stay strong together,” said Ratanapakdee.

This story is a project of “The Stop The Hate campaign and is made possible with funding from the California State Library (CSL) in partnership with the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA). The views expressed on this website and other materials produced by Asian American Media, Inc. do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CSL, CAPIAA or the California government. Learn more at

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