Kudos to Chris Miller for his amazing SNAP post on Tuesday that shared the story of Xang Ly and his wonderful family! (See https://www.thesnaponline.com/2021/11/24/from-laos-to-albemarle-ly-lives-american-dream/)
The stories of courage, bravery, determination and dedication of this family are truly an inspiration to all of us.
I was a young adult during the time of the Vietnam War and I remember very well the turmoil over our nation’s involvement in that war. However, I never learned much about the Laotian connection with her, nor was I aware of the Laotian civil war or the role of the Hmong people in fighting this war and helping them. US forces in Southeast Asia.
Thank you very much for this history lesson!
As Miller noted, the experience of the Ly family fleeing Laos is reminiscent of situations similar to those of Afghan civilians who fled their country last summer.
I was also delighted to read the help the family received from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) with their resettlement. Coming from the Lutheran tradition myself and having lived in the Washington, DC area for many years, I am very familiar with the wonderful work of this organization.
Since 1939, he has “welcomed the stranger” to our shores and helped refugees find a new life in a new home. Reports say North Carolina hosts more than 1,200 Afghan refugees in the state. Currently, LIRS is working through its local agency, Lutheran Services Carolina, to relocate a number of these families to Raleigh and Asheville.
As the holiday season approaches, many organizations will be competing for our financial donations. May I suggest that we consider a donation to LIRS in honor of the Ly family? (lirs.org or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, PO Box 17467, Baltimore, MD 21297-1467.)
Those of us privileged to grow up in the United States often take the freedoms we enjoy for granted, and people like the Ly family remind us that those freedoms come at a price.
I am very grateful for how the Ly family bless our community with their presence and donations.
May we, as a community, continue to welcome those fleeing hardship in other countries, and be humble enough to learn from them and value their experiences.