Sokhary Chau, a city councilor in Lowell, Massachusetts, was unanimously picked by his council peers to assume the legislative body’s top post on Monday. He also became the city’s first Asian American mayor. …
Located on the Merrimack River near the New Hampshire state line, Lowell was an early center of America’s textile industry, drawing waves of European and Latin American immigrants over generations.
Today, the city of more than 115,000 residents is nearly 25% Asian and home to the nation’s second-largest Cambodian community.
“As a proud Cambodian American, I am standing on the shoulders of many immigrants who came before me to build this city,” Chau said Monday before a crowd that included his wife and two teenage sons.
Chau recounted how his father, a captain in the Cambodian army, was executed by the communist Khmer Rouge in 1975 during the country’s civil war.
He said his mother, who died last year, managed to keep her seven children alive for four years, surviving “landmines, jungles, hunger, sickness and uncertainty” to deliver them safely to the U.S.
If you’ve never watched the film, ‘The Killing Field,‘ you must – which I feel is one of the most important films ever made. I’ve personally been to Cambodia and seen the killing fields and memorials.
I never realized that Lowell had that many Cambodians, let alone, Asian Americans. Congratulations to Chau on making history.