Pearl Harbor: A Day Which Will Live In Infamy…

Seventy-seven years ago, the country was attacked in secret.  On December 7, 1941, forces from the Empire of Japan secretly attacked American Naval and military positions on the island of Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands. You know it as Pearl Harbor. It was the final act which brought the United States into World War II.

Pearl Harbor: A Day Which Will Live In Infamy

With each passing year more and more of “Greatest Generation” pass away – so named for combating the scourge of Nazism, overcoming the Great Depression, and unconditionally defeating the Japanese.  Their passing makes it more difficult for younger generations to understand the level of sacrifice made by those who came before us in helping forge this greatest nation in world history.

While for many, 9/11 remains the defining event of their lives – the event where “you remember where you were” when it happened.  At the same time, we cannot and should never forget the events of December 7, 1941.  Those events changed America, and they changed the course of world history.

Here is the speech from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, made to Congress on December 8th.  His words capture this gripping moment in history, and they should be a reminder to Americans to always stay vigilant.  Like 9/11, let us never forget.

“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

 Pearl Harbor: A Day Which Will Live In Infamy

 It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

 Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

 Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

 But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

 Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.

 I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

 Never Forget … and God Bless America!

Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

Americans always have much to be grateful for each Thanksgiving season.  The annual holiday is best known for turkey, two days off from work, and football.  It is a rich tradition that is practiced in much of North America and throughout the world.

Giving Thanks This Holiday Season - Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

There are many claims to the official start date of the Thanksgiving holiday.  The earliest claim is by the Spanish, who claimed explorers in San Elizario, Texas held a religious service of thanks in 1598.  But the most common claims exist between Virginia and New England.  Virginia has the oldest claim, dating to 1619 and the arrival of 38 English Settlers at the “Berkley Hundred” colony.  Its founding charter as issued by the London Company recognized the day of thanks with this language:  “… that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

 While Virginia has the oldest claim, Americans typically refer to the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Thanksgiving celebration as the one most recognized in tradition and national folklore.  It first occurred in 1621 and included 53 surviving Pilgrims and a number of Indians.  Fifteen pilgrims had already died.  By the time supplies and new colonists arrived in 1623, only 4 adult females remained alive from the original landing.

Giving Thanks This Holiday Season - Pilgrims

Later, as President of the United States George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “… as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.”

Giving Thanks This Holiday Season - Family

 Top 5 Things Americans Can Be Thankful For:

 1. Patriotism. Back in 2014, singer Janine Stange decided to perform the National Anthem in all 50 states.  She is the first person known to do so, and when asked about what led her to do this she replied: “For 90 seconds, no matter who we voted for, or what team we want to win – we are as one. When we stand with our hands over our hearts, we are singing ‘our song.’ That is always to be regarded as a privilege, not a formality. I hope this mission brings a renewed awareness, honor and respect for those who have fought and sacrificed their time, wellbeing, families…and lives for our freedom.”   Lost on the so-called anthem/flag protesters in the NFL is that you will not win over an American by disrespecting their flag or their national anthem.  George M. Cohan, known as the father of American musical comedies, the “Man who Owned Broadway” and the composer of famous musical scores such as “Over There”, “Give My Regards to Broadway”, “The Yankee Doodle Boy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” also famously wrote the following:  “Ev’ry heart beats true, ‘neath the Red, White and Blue.”

 2. The opportunity of wealth, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness. As said many times, we enjoy the deepest capital markets, the rule of law, and a historical commitment to liberty that allows each American to pursue their own path in life.  Our markets enjoy an unequal status in innovation, and a diverse pool of talent among the population.  Nothing should be taken for granted, and freedom is only one generation away from being lost if we are not vigilant, but today in 2017, we have much to be thankful for.

3. The melting pot. Legal immigration is something to be thankful forPeople around the world remain desperate for a chance to visit that “Shining City on a Hill” known as America.  While illegal immigration can erode a common culture, and can cause political backlash, legal immigration helps us remain the most diverse and innovative economic engine in the world!

4. Our freedoms. Constitution, rule of law, Bill of Rights, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, to peaceably assemble, free from search and seizure, due process … the list goes on.  No country in human history has enjoyed the breadth of personal freedom and opportunity as we have here in America.  While that personal freedom appears to be fraying, we still should give thanks for the glory that it is to be an American.

5. Our families. Yes, your sister is insufferable … your grandfather keeps telling you that no one could beat the ’27 Yankees … your mother still has a VCR player with the number 12:00 flashing … Dad wants to eat at lunch instead of dinner and the kids do not want to come inside … some have few family members to share with at all. Take the time to give thanks for those that love us and no matter where we are or what we have become, will always stand with you because you are their family.

 Sam Adams was an American patriot, revolutionary, the brother of future President John Adams, and of course the namesake of a famous Boston lager.  He also is quoted often in patriotic literature, and one of his more famous quotes was: “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”  Everywhere this Thanksgiving, please be sure to give thanks for American patriots, whose willingness to risk all for this grand experiment gave us a legacy unmatched in human history.

The last thing we should give thanks for, and perhaps most important, is for the men and women of the U.S. military.  Separated from their families, around the globe they keep watch to keep the American people safer than any other global empire in human history.

There is a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.  There are those in need, people you may know who need a helping hand, and we need to help take care of those less fortunate.  But all Americans have reason to give thanks – it starts with knowing that we are … Americans!

God Bless Our Veterans

Veterans Day is celebrated each year in the United States on November 11th.  We recognize, as a country, all our veterans who have served in the armed forces and helped defend our great nation.  Originally, the date was recognized as Armistice Day, in acknowledging the end of World War I and the signing of the armistice between Germany and the Allied powers.

While the date was commemorated beginning one year after World War I, it was officially recognized as both a state and federal holiday in 1938 by an act of Congress (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a).  Its name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day by an amendment to the Act in 1954.

It is very important to distinguish between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. On Veterans Day, we honor our living veterans. On Memorial Day, we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

In this very tense, unprecedented time that we live in, it is important to remember and recognize the veterans you have in your personal life and our veterans around the country.  They deserve a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. 

Here Are Our “Top 5 Facts” About Veterans Day:

 1. There are approximately 19-20 million+ veterans, in total, living today. By major conflict, they break down as follows:

World War I (1917-1918) – None, last one passed away in 2011.

World War II (1941-1945) – Estimated living veterans: 1,731,000

Korean War (1950-1953) – Estimated living veterans: 2,475,000

Vietnam War (1964-1975) – Estimated living veterans: 7,591,000

Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991) – Estimated living veterans: 2,644,583

War on Terror, Afghanistan and Iraq (2001-Present) – Estimated living veterans:  2,849,000

Soldiers deployed to combat zones globally, not listed above, who have engaged in combat, living today – 2 million+ (to include the Balkans during the 1990s, Somalia, Rwanda, Grenada, Lebanon, multiple countries in Africa, Panama, and Latin America)

2. Between 1971 and 1977, Veterans Day was celebrated on the 4th Monday of October. It was changed back to November 11th by a public law signed by President Gerald Ford.

 3. Arlington National Cemetery has a Veterans Day ceremony every year to honor the fallen. The ceremonies are held around the “Tomb of the Unknowns” at 11:00 AM on November 11th. A combined color guard of all military services executes the “Present Arms” at the tomb.

 4. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, came up with the idea to honor all veterans on November 11th, not just the ones who died in World War I.

 5. The word “veteran” first came in to use in 1789, when former British servicemen were referred to in Parliament as “veterans”, those who are older and with experience in combat. Today, the word has broadened its use to many professions to describe those with experience.

 Fallujah, Mosul, Baghdad, Tora Bora, Kandahar … today’s battles reflect a country at war now for 16 years. They echo a previous generation still with us, whose formative battles included the Chosin Reservoir to Hue and Khe Sanh.  Battles fought in faraway places to defend America, and the American way of life.

Veterans Day may not be as connected to days off from school, burgers on the grill, or a massive firework display.  But remembering, and thanking, those who are still with us – who have given so much – is the least we can do.  American military veterans represent the very best of us.

Our firm can be described as “American with a capital ‘A.’”  Call now to speak to an advisor about how you can grow and protect your wealth! 877-912-1919