Special Fourth of July ceremony for Montagnards

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Singing the National Anthem was especially meaningful for a group of people at Durham Memorial Baptist Church in west Charlotte Sunday.

About 200 Montagnards have made it their church home. The Montagnards fought with United States soldiers during the Vietnam war. They were persecuted in their own land for supporting America.

Sunday, several Montagnards who recently became US citizens also received American flags.

"Today we are celebrating our Independence, but we are also celebrating their Independence from the tyranny the lived in in Vietnam," said Doni Raye Kendrick, who serves as their liaison for the church.

The church has helped the Montagnards learn English and find employment. The former refugees came to Charlotte via Cambodia.

Many of the younger members are now second and third generation citizens.

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