Dedication of Lao Veterans Memorial Planned for Elgin Veterans Memorial Park

 

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 3:00 PM, the public is invited to attend the dedication of a memorial garden to honor Lao veterans who served side by side with U.S. troops during the Vietnam War as part of “The Secret War.”  This historic event will take place at the Elgin Veterans Memorial Park located at 270 N. Grove in Elgin adjacent to the Gail Borden Public Library.

The addition, which will include a small garden and two plaques, will pay tribute to these veterans who “rescued downed airmen and defended American outposts,” according to the text on one of the plaques.  “Many were injured, tortured, and killed.  At the end of the war, they were forced to flee to Thailand for refuge, then eventually immigrated to the United States.” it adds.

Funding for the project came from the Lao-American Veterans Organization of Illinois along with other contributors.  It is being installed in cooperation with the city of Elgin and the Elgin Veterans Memorial Park Phase II Committee.  A portion of the funds raised will also benefit the memorial park.

The dedication date of July 19th has been proclaimed as Lao American Veterans Day in Elgin by Mayor Kaptain and in the state of Illinois by Governor Quinn.  This is the date on which Laos won its independence from France and on which the Royal Lao Armed Forces was established.

Those attending are encouraged to car pool or park at the municipal lot south of Kimball Street because of other activities going on at the library that date.  A reception will take place in the Elgin Room of the library following the program.

For further information, contact Chin Keomuongchanh at 904-422-8883 or chinkeomuongchanh@yahoo.com or Em Ramangkoun at 847-373-7467 or emramangkoun@yahoo.com