I’m honored and humbled at this opportunity to share a few words with the residents of our great city. A city within the greatest Nation of the world – the United States of America.
In Clovis, there are men and women from many different countries. Some are original founding families. Some have been here generations. Some may have just received their official Clovis address. We don’t look alike. We have different cultures. We don’t worship the same way. Though our origins differ, this much is true, here in Clovis, we are known as one people because we have chosen to call Clovis home.
Our stories are forever woven into the larger story of this city. Our personal history and the history of Clovis are no longer separate. And now you have to help us write the next great chapter in this evolving story.
The people of Clovis are the core of its character. We are its oldest tradition. We make Clovis exceptional. The stories each of us bring, as to how you got here, reminds one another that the American Dream is alive and well. We all came here and fell in love with Clovis… and its Way of Life.
We are the teachers who inspire our children, and the doctors who keep us healthy. We’re the engineers who design our streets, homes and neighborhoods, and the artists and the entertainers who touch our hearts and bring color to lives. We are the spiritual leaders who save souls and heal hearts. We are soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who protect us from afar. We’re the first responders who protect us and keep us safe. Each is giving to this city in their own unique way, to help better our Way of Life.
In Clovis, we honor the values and rights given to us by God. We must resolve to never allow our sons and daughters, and their sons and daughters, to ever forget where we came from. We will not and should not forget our history, our cultures, and our past. That adds to the richness of the Clovis Way of Life. We are each equal to every other citizen of Clovis.
Clovis is a happy place. All that makes up Clovis – be it the homes, the parks and trails, the streets, the businesses, the services, the schools, the history, the neighborhoods or the families – either individually or collectively, gives us a sense of joy, satisfaction, contentment and fulfillment. However, Clovis’ secret to happiness lies deep in the freedoms residents have, which allows them to appreciate it all.
Ultimately, how does Clovis protect, defend, and keep these freedoms? That secret lies in the courage of its residents.
Coming from a communist country and with very limited opportunities, it is easier to see the rich freedoms Americans have at their fingertips. In America, we decide our futures. We can be whom we choose to be, live where we like, share what’s on our minds, fail and start over again, and be different.
Compared to a place where no such freedoms exist, life is much more predictable. Very little risk is involved. There, it’s much harder to dream and become who you want to be.
Life without risks takes no courage. It takes courage to dream and to pursue those dreams. With freedom, “I” must choose. And “I” reap the benefits or bear the consequences of those decisions.
Clovis is a happy place because it is free, and Clovis is free because it has people of courage. Courage to say stand and object. Courage to share our wishes, to have an opinion, to say what we think. Courage to try something new and affect tomorrow’s outcome. To fail or to be a pioneer.
Clovis is something to cherish. Clovis is worth fighting for. It is always bold men and women, yearning to protect freedom and opportunity, who choose a place like Clovis to live their lives. We believe in the American dream.
And over and over, we make it come true for ourselves, for our children and for others… right here in Clovis. We give more than we receive. We labor and succeed.
Clovis depends on ordinary citizens doing the hard, sometimes frustrating, but always essential work of citizenship — of being informed. Of understanding that the government isn’t some distant thing, but it is each of us. Speak when something is not right. Help when others need a hand. That is what makes Clovis great.
Therefore, as we rise each day and the ground beneath us is still Clovis soil, let us thank God for our city and ask His blessings upon us. May we see more than just mere streets and buildings, but see freedom, rights, and responsibilities.
This city is our city. This is Clovis. Serve it, respect it, protect it, but most of all, be proud of it.
Mayor Pro Tem