May 14 of each year is designated as Hmong Special Guerilla Units Remembrance Day in honor of Southeast Asians, Americans, and their allies who served, suffered, sacrificed, or died in the Secret War in Laos during the Vietnam War in the years 1961 to 1975 in support of the armed forces of the United States, and in recognition of the significance of May 14, 1975, the last day that the overall American-trained Hmong command structure over the Special Guerrilla Units in Laos was operational. At least 35,000 Hmong Special Guerrilla soldiers lost their lives protecting trapped, lost, or captured American soldiers and pilots in Laos and Vietnam. One-half of the Hmong population in Laos perished as a result of the American Secret War in Laos. Ethnic Hmong men, women, and children in Laos faced persecution and forced reeducation in seminar camps after their American support ended. Despite the tremendous cost and sacrifices in the war, the Hmong remain proud to stand by the values of freedom and justice that America symbolizes. Those who survived escaped to western countries to start a new life. Each year, the governor shall issue a proclamation honoring the observance.