As someone who works hard to create a positive impact and legacy for the benefit of global communities, I am humbled to be included on the prestigious list of Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients. I would like to thank my friend and amazing North American hero, Anthony von Mandl, for nominating me and attending the ceremony, and my wife Jane and my children for attending.
The Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS), which works to preserve Ellis Island and represent the critical value of immigration to America’s prosperity, founded the Medal of Honor in 1986 to commemorate the tenacious spirit of those who came to the United States during the Ellis Island era.
The Medal is presented yearly to people committed to serving America professionally, culturally, or civically. However, the true prize is the cultural and historical significance of earning it. From its opening in 1892, Ellis Island was the U.S. federal immigration station and processed over 12 million immigrants until closing in 1954. Thirty years later, the main building was restored and transformed into a museum where visitors can learn about how so many people came to establish themselves in the “land of opportunity.”
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is especially important to me as it reflects everything I stand for – celebrating the differences that make our communities great and creating a sense of belonging for people from all walks of life. Diversity fuels the innovations that advance our communities, and EIHS understands that the “American Dream” would not be possible without immigrants’ lasting contributions to our society. EIHS’ mission is to instill the fact that “Immigration Works for America,” which I also strongly believe in, recognize, and support.
Congratulations to my fellow Medal recipients, who range from artists and politicians to philanthropists, military leaders, and beyond. I am honored to be featured on a long list of people who celebrate the diversity of life and humanity and – without hesitation – impact society in a positive and meaningful way.
Let’s keep working together to build a brighter future for all!
To learn more about the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, visit the website here.