HomeHmong AmericanHmong American Day celebrated by Fresno community

Hmong American Day celebrated by Fresno community

The Fresno community will celebrate Hmong American Day this Saturday to spotlight and honor the Hmong people’s contributions throughout U.S. history.

Located at the Fresno Center, the celebration will highlight Hmong Americans’ “history and cultural contributions in Fresno and beyond,” Fresno Bee reported. Mayor Jerry Dyer explained that Fresno is the first in the state to officially commemorate Hmong American Day.

“We honor the legacy of the Hmong people who served, were wounded and lost their lives to ensure the U.S. remains the land of the free, knowing we forever owe a debt of gratitude to their sacrifice,” said Dyer to the Fresno Bee.

The event will host dance and musical performances, speakers and other activities. Last year U.S. Rep. Jim Costa showed his support and appreciation of the community: “With every group of immigrants that come from all over the world, you make America better,” he told Fresnoland.

This year marks the 49th anniversary of the last airlift of Hmong and Lao veterans who fought in the Vietnam War, so this event works to honor their sacrifices throughout the 1960s and 1970s.  

At the start of the war, CIA officers conducted trainings for Hmong hill tribespeople to act as a guerilla force to contain communist influences from further expansion, according to Fresno Bee. Many Hmong refugees from the war later immigrated to the U.S.

In the present day, Fresno has the second-largest Hmong population in the country with roughly 35,000 community members, just behind Minneapolis. 

“The city of Fresno recognizes the important cultural, social, political, economic contributions of Hmong Americans that provide generational enrichment and enhancement to the city across many sectors including business, education, public safety and government,” said Dyer, Fresno Bee reported.

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