Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, Oct. 26 @ 4:33 p.m. / Op-Ed
(Op-Ed) Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders In Solidarity Respond to Vandalism of Del Norte Hmong Veterans Monument
From Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity:
Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (HAPI) strongly condemns the recent vandalism of the Crescent City’s Point of Honor monument honoring Del Norte County Hmong veterans who aided the US in its ‘secret war’ in Laos between 1962 – 1975 (“CCPD Investigating Vandalism to Hmong Veterans Monument as a Hate Crime,” Wild Rivers Outpost, Oct 19, 2022). Names of the honored veterans were Soua Phia Lo, Vue Vang, Joua Pao Vang and Nao Toua Vue. The monument, only three years old, had been vandalized in the past, but last week it was toppled, broken, and its foundation cracked.
Americans must stand up against these hate crimes. Such vandalism desecrates the sacrifices these veterans made, and is an affront to all war veterans, as well as the Hmong community who have sought to make a home in the ‘land of the free and home of the brave.’ We commend the Del Norte Veterans Council, their representative Kelly Schellong, and the City Council of Crescent City, for prioritizing the repair of the monument, and for consulting with members of the Hmong community as to their thoughts about what a temporary and permanent repair could be.
HAPI expresses great sorrow to the Hmong families of the veterans honored, and to the Hmong community who live in Del Norte County, and would like to pledge support towards a fund for rebuilding the memorial. It is particularly timely with Veterans Day coming up, but it is always timely to speak up against hatred and racism. We stand in solidarity with the Hmong community in Del Norte County and encourage all community members to express their outrage against this cowardly, senseless act and to support the Hmong community as well.
Patty Saito Hecht, Mitch Higa, Alex Ozaki-McNeill, Vicki Ozaki, Marylyn Paik-Nicely, Amy Uyeki, and Terry Uyeki
Steering Committee, Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity