Home Of The Brave

We’re going to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a BullandBaird special on the 4th of July. We will return to our normal channel filled with quirky market commentary and Fail videos next week but for now sit back, relax, and let me tell you why I love not only this holiday but the United States of America

Growing up I had a list of favorite holidays but the 4th of July was never on it. Halloween (still the best), Christmas, Thanksgiving, a typical list for a child who dreams of gravy covered stuffing and Star Wars toys. But the 4th of July never seemed to crack my favorite days. You see we moved around a lot when I was young, so I never got the chance to put my roots down in a place and spend years with the same community celebrating Independence Day. That all changed when I moved to a small town in Wisconsin to join Baird. 

Whitefish Bay WI is a great place to raise a family. 13k friendly Wisconsinites who love being cold, eating cooked meats, and rooting for the Badgers. Like thousands of other towns in America the place explodes in a sea of red, white, and blue on the 4th of July celebrating not only our shared values but the nation we all love. My kids have only ever known a day filled with friends, smiling adults, a parade, and nighttime fireworks spectacular. If you asked them their favorite holiday they would likely say the 4th of July and why wouldn’t they? It’s a day to celebrate not only living in one of the best places on the planet but to remember what binds us all together.

We are still SUCH a young country. At 243 years old we are still a baby in the grand scheme of things. But in our short time span we have grown from a scrappy startup to a Global Superpower with the Worlds largest economy.  Have we been perfect along the way? No, of course not. Are we perfect right now? Nope, but that’s ok. This nation is filled with people who at their very core good, and decent, and hardworking and love this country in their own unique way. We all share similar experiences even though we might not agree on every single thing. Parades, family, working hard, community, standing up as a Veteran walks by, getting chills when “aaaaaand the homeeee of the brave” is sung. 

We actually might be living in a golden age. This is the longest economic expansion in our nation’s history. The stock market is up over 440% in the past decade. You hold the worlds knowledge and the ability to communicate with anyone on the globe in your pocket. We are launching rockets into space and landing them back on this planet. In fact, those very rockets might take humanity to Mars in your lifetime. Look, I know that politics and its discourse can be toxic but what I want you to remember is that you are seeing only a TINY TINY sliver of our nation’s history. The greatness of America is in its PEOPLE. Look at what US Real GDP growth has been since the 1800s. What political party is responsible for that chart? Neither. There’s been all kinds of politicians over that time frame but the reason the United States continues to thrive is buried within the hearts of its people. 

You know why I am fiercely proud to be an American? Because of you. Because no matter who you are, what color your skin is, where you came from, or what you believe in, I know that you want to see America succeed just as badly as I do. The two us, plus countless other millions, can disagree on things but because we row in the same direction this nation’s future is incredibly bright. The single greatest speech ever given in History is the Gettysburg Address and I want you to reflect on this passage:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”  

That great unfinished task before us is the United States of America. May She ever shine.  

Sing it Ray