Although Memorial Day has become associated with barbecues, beach trips, department store sales and the beginning of summer, it is actually a somber day of remembrance to honor the men and women who have died in service of our nation. It is a day to take pause from the busyness of our own lives and pay tribute to those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that we currently enjoy. It is a time to reflect on the wonderful privileges that we have been afforded by this country and the sacrifices that so many men and women have made to truly make America the greatest country in the world.
Memorial Day is not a time to question the politics or military policy of a given battle. The focus of the holiday is not on debating the merits of decisions made by the current President, past presidents or Congress. Rather, Memorial Day is a time to show our gratitude, through our words and actions, to those who have sacrificed everything to safeguard our liberties. We cannot choose the country where we are born. But a lucky few can choose the country where they live.
The United States has always been characterized as the “land of opportunity,” where immigrants could rise from rags to riches through their sheer tenacity and grit. Immigrants make America great because America is the land of immigrants. Our grandparents and great grandparents came to the United States with one thing in common—a desire for a better life. Our ancestors’ perspectives, resilience and innovation helped transform America into the wealthiest and most powerful nation in history.
Everyone in America has come here from somewhere else. Ask anybody living in America and they will have at least one family member who moved here from another country. Everybody has a story to tell. For some, the story is simple. For others the story is gut-wrenching and difficult to tell.
Immigrants serve in the United States armed forces, side by side with native born soldiers. Immigrants fight for and have died for the freedoms we currently enjoy. In this politically charged climate of 2018, Memorial Day is a reminder that we must honor allof the members of the armed forces regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion or nation of origin. Each and every one of them took an identical oath to defend our Constitution and be a part of our nation’s military.
This weekend, while you are relaxing with friends and family, set aside some time to truly reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Pay tribute to all of our soldiers who have lost their lives in the defense of our nation. These brave individuals were not divided by their individual backgrounds but united by a common purpose to protect our liberties. We must recognize the sacrifices of every soldier, regardless of their nation of origin. “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of eachsoldier who died protecting it.” (unknown). God Bless America.
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Navigating the intricacies of the legal side of applying for a visa is as tough a task. Schedule a meeting with the Pollak legal team today –– we have the insight and the experience to ensure you the best legal counsel for your situation.
Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at karenlp@pollakimmigration