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

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

Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #224, ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Tues., May 14, 2024, in honor of Hmong-Lao Veterans Day.

“Hmong-Lao veterans bravely and selflessly fought side-by-side with U.S. troops during the Vietnam War with many ultimately facing harsh retribution for doing so, including being forced to flee their homelands. These veterans are an important part of our state’s story and our history,” said Gov. Evers. “Today and every day, we recognize their remarkable sacrifices, reflect upon the profound contributions they have made to our communities and our state, and express our gratitude for their commitment to upholding and defending the freedoms and values we hold dear.”

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.

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