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Decades after war in Laos, Hmong refugees build new lives in US




LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 23:  Exhausted Hmong refugees get ready to board a bus for Fresno after arriving on the first chartered aircraft carrying 289 Hmong passengers to the Los Angeles airport on August 23, 2004 in Los Angeles California. The historical migration to the USA will finally close a painful chapter for many of the refugees who had sought safety in Thailand after the Vietnam war where as many as 40,000 Hmong were fighting for the Americans in Laos.
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 23: Exhausted Hmong refugees get ready to board a bus for Fresno after arriving on the first chartered aircraft carrying 289 Hmong passengers to the Los Angeles airport on August 23, 2004 in Los Angeles California. The historical migration to the USA will finally close a painful chapter for many of the refugees who had sought safety in Thailand after the Vietnam war where as many as 40,000 Hmong were fighting for the Americans in Laos.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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The effect of the Vietnam war was felt far beyond its borders. The conflict spilled into neighboring countries and forced many to make a home elsewhere. Around 100,000 Hmong came to the US from across Southeast Asia.

They were part of a wave of refugees who fled when communists gained control in Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam 40 years ago.

Seattle became the focus of a large Hmong community. Many survived growing and selling flowers at the famous Pike Street Market.

From Seattle public station KUOW, Liz Jones has this story on the Hmong who have made the Northwest their home – growing and selling tulips, dahlias, and peonies.