Suu Kyi is ‘Mother of Burma,’ Symbol of Hope to Burmese

By Stephanie Parkinson

September 25, 2012 Updated Sep 25, 2012 at 5:38 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to the Summit City is a historical event for many in the Fort Wayne community. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, democracy leader and freedom fighter spoke to thousands Tuesday.

"She's the hope, and for me, she's a living example of peace," said Naw Phyu, Fort Wayne.

"She's the mother of Burma, the mother of Burma," said Tun Oo, Fort Wayne.

Decades of fighting has lead to Burma, present day Myanmar, developing a democratic government but Suu Kyi stresses the journey is far from over.

"We are just at the beginning of the road and in some ways this is going to be the most difficult period," said Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy Party Leader.

"We're really not all the way there yet, we still need everyone's support," said May Ayar Oo, member, Welcoming Committee.

Fort Wayne has the largest Burmese ex-pat population. But Suu Kyi's speech at the War Memorial Coliseum attracted a very diverse group.

"It just inspires me to continue to find out more about the political situation going on there, it's very complex," said Kari Fritz, Indianapolis.

Seeking support is something Suu Kyi has been doing globally. Her message to the people who stand by her is to strive for better education, stay informed and stand together.

"We have to be aware of what's going on and you know, we have to stay awake," said Paw Say Ku, Chicago, IL.

Fort Wayne is one of 8 stops Suu Kyi is making during her trip to the United States.

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