FRESNO, Calif. --Hmong New Year is always a time to celebrate, but last month's gathering also stirred deep emotions for a Fresno woman.
Families were drawn to a photo display at December's Hmong New Year celebration at the Fresno Fairgrounds but one particular picture brought a Fresno woman to tears.
Pa Her discovered a photo with her six-month-old son Zoua. The little boy later died from measles. A translator explained to us, "She was very sad and happy at the same time. The baby had never had a photo taken before."
The picture was taken by Doug Hulcher at the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand. It marked a turning point in her life. The baby's death in 1988 made her determined to go to the US.Translator Kia Cha said, "Her whole family had passed during that time, during the war time. She was the only one left in her family."
The only other picture she had of the baby was taken when they were preparing for his burial.
Pa has two other sons and five daughters. Her husband Her Pao Vang served in the Royal Army.
Vang's daughter in law translated his words, "To see this photo it was just amazing to see because they had no idea someone captured that moment." The Hmongstory 40 exhibit marks 40 years since the Hmong migration to the US from Laos and Thailand. Some of the photos much more personal than others.