A day for reflection

Today we recognize one of the most meaningful days in this country’s history: the day we commemorate those fallen in the line of duty.

It is a day when pain, respect, and recognition blend with the heroism and bravery of the thousands who have died to defend this country’s ideals.

It is also a day of unity, when we show we are one without any ethnic barriers whatsoever: blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos and others are all among the dead.

This is one thing that should be preserved.

Memorial Day should not just be used to hold one civic ceremony or another or take the day off. It should be a day for reflection, when we honor the reasons why people gave their lives: to have a better nation.

Many issues remain pending in this country. One is immigration reform.

Throughout history, many Latinos have enlisted in the armed forces, even when they are not citizens of this country. This is a significant gesture that should be valued in order to make the right decisions.

These days, there are many Latinos who have not received recognition for their service. Family members of some have not had their status legalized and others, who survived war, but do not have their papers in order, have been deported.

Now is the time to value their service and push nationally for immigration reform to make us a better country.

The sacrifice of thousands of families who have seen their loved ones go off to war should inspire public policies that are fair for all.

Special interests have no place in such times. That is the best homage we can give to the fallen on this day.