One year after General Vang Pao's death, his wife, Mai Song Moua still cries every time she talks about the beloved leader.
Those same emotions run deep for thousands of other people within the Valley's Hmong community. Exactly one year to the day of his death, many gathered at the Fresno Fairgrounds to pay their respects. Among the group, was Jason Her. The young marine says General Vang Pao inspired him to enlist in the military.
Jason her said, "It kinda like took a step you know towards him as what he was doing as well, and not having any Hmong generals you know, that was one of my motivations to go into the military."
The General is also credited for helping bring thousands of Hmong people into the United States. But following his passing, that sense of unity has unraveled. Claims of corruption are splitting the local Hmong community. Just this past December, there were two New Year's celebrations in Fresno, instead of one.
Chineng Vang said, "Really, it comes down to minor issues that need to be resolved."
Chineng Vang is the General's youngest son. He says their family is working hard to restore peace and continue his father's legacy. "It's big shoes to fill but we'll do our best and do whatever we can. The community still looks up to the family as someone who can deal with the Hmong issues and interact with with the Hmong community."
A community who can all agree, there will never be another leader like General Vang Pao.
After failing to get permission to bury the general at Arlington National Cemetery, his family decided to bury him down south in Glendale.