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Memorial service in Rothschild for General Vang Pao

General Vang Pao.
General Vang Pao.

ROTHSCHILD, Wis (WSAU) About 500 people attended a Central Wisconsin memorial service for Hmong war hero General Vang Pao. He died last month in California from complications from pneumonia last month.

General Pao is considered a hero to Hmong around the world, and was one of the leading Hmong figures in the U.S. since immigration began. He sided with the U.S. during the Vietnam war, and fought against the communists in East Asia.

Yesterday’s memorial service was at the Rothschild Pavilion. It was sponsored in-part by the Hmong Mutual Aid Association. Initially there were plans for a public viewing of Pao’s body in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Those plans were cancelled because of transportation problems and the high cost of transporting human remains. Video footage of a California memorial service was shown instead.

Three U.S. Congressmen have sent a request to the Pentagon that Pao’s body be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. That request, which would have required a special waiver from the President or the Secretary of Defense, has been turned down.