The following is the text of Senator Richard Tisei's remarks at Wakefield's Commemoration of Memorial Day on the Upper Commons.
I bring you the greetings of the Commonwealth this morning as we pay tribute to the many brave men and women who have given their lives over the years so that we could continue to live in peace and enjoy freedom.
Memorial Day is a day for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values by honoring those who gave their lives for the ideals we all cherish.
Freedom in this country means that it doesn't matter where you come from, or what the circumstances of your birth are. It doesn't matter who you know, or how well connected you are. It doesn't matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, or what language you speak at home.
It is the freedom to pursue any goal in life that does not harm others. It is the freedom to speak your mind without worrying about a violent backlash. Its the freedom to come and go as you please and most importantly the freedom to think and act as individuals.. that sets us apart from all of the other nations on this earth.
Our county is unique. There has never been another like it in the history of the world. Our greatness stems from the fact that we are a tolerant nation that welcomes creativity and diversity. As a result every day tens of thousands of Asians, Africans and Europeans of every color, class and background are fighting to come to these shores to experience the American Dream.
Today is a day to remember that these freedoms which we all treasure ....were not free....and the precious liberties that we now take for granted did not come without our nation paying a terrible price.
Over the years, more than 1 million men and women have died in wars fought on our own soil and in remote battlefields in every corner of this world.
Where did we find such brave men and women....who were willing to put on uniforms....take up arms....leave their friends and family behind.... and travel to such far away places to defend freedom and liberty?
We found them right here in our community. The names carved into granite and memorials all around us this morning indicate the tremendous price that this community has paid over the years to defend our country.
These men and women will be forever in our memory, forever in our hearts and we will be forever thankful to them.
As we mark memorial day this year, we do so with heavy hearts remembering all of the service members who have lost their lives fighting terrorism in places like Afganistan and Iraq.
Their sacrifice serves as a reminder to all Americans that we are living in a very dangerous and violent world. At this critical time, we need to be stong and remain prepared as there are plenty of tyrants and terrorists actively working to destroy our freedoms and all that we stand for.
As we face this present danger and confront the struggles which lie ahead, we would do well to always remember the example set by those we honor here today.
Their sacrifice, loyalty and personal courage perserved our freedoms.
Their strength and determination created the America of today, and the heroic actions they took to defend our nation will forever serve as an inspiration to every American.