Colorado’s Laotian community woke up yesterday to a terrible tragedy: The morning news shows kept showing breaking news footage from their helicopters circling over a raging fire in Westminster, off 108th and Wadsworth. The Lao Buddhist Temple of Colorado was burning down, the flames and smoke engulfing the building in less than half an hour as firefighters poured water from their bucket trucks in the sub-zero chill of dawn.
I have a special place in my heart for the Laotian community, so my heart broke along with theirs as I watched the coverage of their loss.
My wife Erin and I first met the Laotians because of their dedication and passion for boat racing, through our volunteer involvement with the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. If people know about it, Laos is probably remembered most for its part in the Vietnam war.