SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Saturday marked two years since 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was killed. He was violently shoved to the ground and attacked during the middle of the day in San Francisco’s Anza Vista neighborhood.
His death awakened the nation to an upswelling of violence against Asian Americans. His daughter Monthanus Ratanapakdee still struggles with the loss. “How are we supposed to mourn and celebrate at the same time? It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since my dad has passed,” she said.
She spoke in front of his memorial near California street and Grant Avenue, then again at Portsmouth Square. She said he would not want her to be sad when thinking of him. “He would want to be remembered as a lovely grandpa and a family man who brought together the community to keep everyone safe,” she said.
At the event other Asian assault victims were remembered and spotlighted. Selena Chew told her story of being attacked in San Francisco. “I really felt in that moment that I was going to die. That I would never get back to my family,” Chew said.
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Vicha’s daughter echoed a message of love over hate. “If you lead with love there would be no more violence in our society,” she said.
The event ended with attendees writing positive messages on slips of paper and putting them inside of the lantern illuminated at Portsmouth Square.