Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 @ 5:37 p.m.
Crescent City Will Create a Temporary Monument to Honor Hmong Veterans
Crescent City’s public works department will create a temporary monument honoring Del Norte County’s Hmong veterans, Del Norte Veteran’s Council representative, Kelly Schellong, said.
Nearly two weeks after the original was vandalized, Schellong said she, her colleague, Doug Plack, City Manager Eric Wier and Jason Wylie, of the public works department, met with local Hmong leaders and showed them an idea for a temporary fix.
“We’ll have it looking as good as it can for Veteran’s Day,” Schellong told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Friday. “And then we are going to work with their original vendor to create a new monument.”
According to Schellong, the goal is to make the new monument stronger with four rebar instead of one. The goal is to ensure the monument isn’t easy to remove from the base.
“They talked amongst themselves and they all wanted to make sure we understood how grateful they were that we were making it a priority,” Schellong said. “Everything’s going to move forward and, hopefully, it’ll be a bigger and better monument than ever.”
The Hmong Veteran’s monument had stood among five obelisks, each representing a branch of the military, at Crescent City’s Point of Honor memorial at the corner of Front Street and U.S. 101.
The monument bears the names of Soua Phia Lo, Vue Vang, Joua Pao Vang and Nao Toua Vue and honors those who served in the secret war in Laos between 1961 and 1975.
On Oct. 17, the monument was found knocked off its pedestal, the top half broken and the foundation cracked.
Because it was the only part of the memorial that was damaged, Crescent City Police Chief told the Wild Rivers Outpost the vandalism appeared intentional and his office was investigating the incident as a hate crime.
On Friday, Griffin told the Wild Rivers Outpost that his officers are still exploring some leads. They had asked local businesses if they had surveillance video of the monument, but couldn’t find any, Griffin said.
In addition to the police investigation, Crescent City is working out details with its insurance carrier to replace the former monument, Schellong said. There is also some discussion about a reward to find those who are responsible for the damage, she said.
According to Schellong, she and city employees couldn’t find the top part of the monument leading her to believe that it’s in someone’s possession.
“We’re thinking if we get the word out maybe somebody might see that somebody has it in their possession and maybe they’ll come forward if there’s a reward,” she said.
On Veteran’s Day, there will be a parade starting at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 10 a.m. and ending at the Point of Honor monument. From 11-11:15 a.m. there will be a recognition of veteran’s at the monument, according to a flyer with a luncheon to follow at the VFW hall.