Memorial Day is a day when we remember and admire those men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can all enjoy our freedom and live in peace and security.

Because of their sacrifices, everyone in this country, including those who were born here, and those who came from abroad like me, now have the freedom to pursue excellence in this land of opportunity.

And, Because of their sacrifices, we now have the freedom to question our own country’s policies without fear – to make the people who we elect more accountable for what they do and don’t do for us.

And, Because of their sacrifices, we now have the freedom to practice our faith freely at our places of worships, at our churches, at our synagogues, at our temples and at our mosques.

And, because of their sacrifices, we enjoy the value of citizenship, as well as the strength of the diversity that we have in our communities.

I really think that the ultimate sacrifices that our men and women in uniform made should encourage all of us to make sacrifices of our own – to work selflessly and make our cities and towns a better place to live for our fellow citizens.

Today is a day when we set aside our differences to remember our fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. We all need to work together to bring peace here at home and abroad. President Reagan once said : “We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does.” Thus, we can make the meaning of Memorial Day more than just remembering those who died by preventing deaths in the first place.

So, on this day, let’s take a few moments from our time with our families and friends in cookouts and BBQ and picnics, and really give thanks to all the people who have made the ultimate sacrifices so that we can enjoy our freedoms and live in peace and prosperity here in our communities and everywhere.