Last update: January 12, 2011 – 4:41 PM
FRESNO, Calif. – Relatives of the former Laotian general who was a key U.S. ally in the Vietnam War say they’ve decided not to hold public viewings of his body outside California.
Family members of Vang Pao initially hoped to bring his body to Hmong communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. But now they say it won’t happen because it’s impossible to preserve the body during the trip.
Vang Pao died last week at age 81 after battling pneumonia.
The only memorial will be at the Fresno Convention Center, where relatives are planning a funeral “fit for a king” for the revered former leader of the Royal Army of Laos. Funeral events will take place Feb. 4-9 and are expected to draw as many as 40,000 people.
Vang Pao’s family is seeking a burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.