In this great American Holiday, I just wanted to share some words I received from my dear friend Ruben Torres. I think nothing that I'd say would come close to his remarks.
I wanted to take a quick moment to express my gratitude to you, our hosts and companions in this beloved America.
Wherever this email finds you, know that there are many of us who feel deeply indebted to your country and its people for the opportunities, the kindness, the friendships, and the many wonderful gifts we reap on a daily basis from this extraordinary soil.
Where else in the world can someone land with nothing but the clothes on their back and build a great life for themselves and their families?
We all know at least one such story and perhaps many more. Heck, as difficult as things may be at times, this is a place where at least you can aspire to build any life you can imagine.
It would have been very hard to fathom even for Horatio Alger or Alexis DeTocqueville that America would become what it has: the last bastion of self made men and women. We are all incredibly privileged to call the USA home.
In this commemoration of our beloved country, I carry in my heart and thoughts all those who would desperately want to be here but cannot, all those who have shared in this "dream" in one way or another, and perhaps most of all--all those who despise the idea of America and fail to understand what the beautiful USA is about.
This is the only place in the world where a person can dream independent of background or kin; Whether you are Colombian, French, Turkish, Canadian, SouthAfrican, Chinese, Korean, Serbian, Montenegran or from the Congo, if you work hard YOU ARE WELCOME; even if you are British, we will take you :)
This is a place where others lift you towards your dreams and where people are eager to watch you succeed.
Things may not be perfect and they never will be. But what a deep feeling of gratitude to wake up in the morning in this extraordinary place, and what a wonderful dream to one day have the privilege of waving that flag as if it was mine.
The next time you hear that beautiful anthem, know that there is a battalion of foreign hearts that are being melted along with yours.
On behalf of all your immigrant guests, your advocates, and your friends, Thank you.
Long Live the U.S.A.!