General Vang Pao's funeral plans are fit for a 'King'

FRESNO, Calif.

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The funeral will be held on February 4th at the Fresno Convention Center. Standard Hmong funeral lasts four days, but because his father was so influential and important this funeral will go on for six days.

Only a select few family members and Hmnog elders will decide how leader General Vang Pao will be remembered at his funeral.

"It's a 24-hour service but there's so many intrigual components that it has to be laid out and we have a whole bunch of committees lined up," said the General's son Chai Vang.

Vang said the Fresno Convention Center will have to accomodate 15-20,000 people a day. Stories of the General growing up will be told as well as how he helped American soldiers during the Vietnam war and why his mission in life was to liberate his people from Laotian persecution.

Vang: "So many parts it's overwhelming. No one can really comprehend what's going to be done because it's never been done ... fit for a King."

His role as leader did come with challenges later in life. U.S. prosecutors accused the General of plotting to overthrow his former government.

In 2009 charges were dropped against the General for lack of evidence. However twelve of his close friends and former officers were left facing those charges. Monday afternoon the federal prosecutor in the case dropped the charges for lack of evidence.

"The community elders called me and said this is your dad's doing. It has nothing to do with the law or nothing with the lives of people. It has to be spiritual at this point," said Vang smiling.

"I think he'd be very pleased to know. He and I discussed that on a number of occasion," said Valley congressman Jim Costa (D).

Costa is seeking a waiver on behalf of the General's family to bury the Hmong leader at Arlington National Cemetery.

Costa: "His funeral service I think will reflect the dignity and the honor of the service to which he gave his people and his adopted country here in the United States."

Vang expects to hear in the next two days if the government will consider burying his father at Arlington.

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