People gathered in San Francisco’s Anza Vista neighborhood Saturday as a city street was renamed in honor of Vicha Ratanapakdee.
Sonora Lane was renamed to Vicha Ratanapakdee Way during a ceremony.
“People should be able to walk out on the street and we want to do something for the community and a reminder for memory for the grandpa and the AAPI community,” said Monthanus Ratanapakdee, Vicha’s daughter.
The 84-year-old Thai grandfather was violently shoved while on a walk in Jan. 28, 2021 and died from his injuries. His passing came amid a growing wave of attacks against members of the Asian community, but even in a wave of violence some said this attack was different.
Actor and activist Daniel Dae Kim also attended the street renaming ceremony and spoke to the crowd.
“To me, it was because it was happened to one of our most vulnerable, elderly. Mr. Ratanapakdee was a grandfather, Mr. Ratanapakdee was husband, he was a father and simply, he was one of us,” he said.
To many, Vicha Ratanapakdee became a symbol of the AAPI movement to take a stand and stop the violence.
“I think we are finally being seen,” said Amanda Nguyen, CEO and founder of Rise. “We are being heard and for so long, the struggles of the AAPI community has been swept under the rug, dismissed as important.”
The man accused in the case is charged with murder and elder abuse, and he’s expected in court next week.
But Saturday’s ceremony was about Vicha Ratanapakdee and what he meant to so many.
“My father Vicha stands for the civil rights and equality of all the people,” said Monthanus Ratanapakdee.
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Source: NBC Bay Area