An Interfaith Thanksgiving service was held Nov 23 in Saint Philomena Roman Catholic Church. An estimated 300 people attended the service. Here is the speech by Jay Yuan.

It is my honor to be here today representing the Livingston Chinese Association, a growing community in Livingston. As we gather here before Thanksgiving there are many reasons to be thankful. Many of these things we take for granted.

My wife and I are the first generation immigrants to the America, like many members of Livingston Chinese Association. We are so fortunate to be able to live the American dream, to live in a place with equality, freedom and respect regardless of skin color, gender, political views, national origin or religion. When I first arrived from China, I was so impressed with the quote “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it”. Looking around the world, there are people who get prosecuted because they speak their minds. People get trouble only because they are just different. In America our Free Speech is protected. To me and my family, living in America is what I am most thankful for. Today, thanks to “Interfaith Thanksgiving Service”, I am able to express my thanks in public.

For many different reasons, we, as immigrants, came to America in pursuit of a better life, especially for our children, like so many who came before us. I came to United States 26 years ago as a foreign student with $150 in my pocket. I, like many, am proof America is the land of opportunity. Anyone who works hard here can live the American Dream. We are fortunate to live here, a blessed land. Over the years I have always felt the welcome attitudes and hospitality of Americans, especially the people of Livingston. I am so thankful for this.

I wish all Livingstoners a Happy Thanksgiving.