From Tony Sagami: Memorial Day is a nostalgic, solemn day for me. America is a nation of immigrants. Most of us can trace our roots to some place other than the U.S. For many Americans, this means European ancestry.
I can’t claim any lineage to the Mayflower. Nor did any of my ancestors cross the vast Midwest prairie in covered wagons. Like yours, however, my ancestors came to America in search of a better life.
My grandfather, Fusakichi Sagami, was from Hiroshima, Japan. He traveled across the Pacific Ocean in 1893 as a kitchen helper on an American sail-powered freighter. He continued to work in kitchens on any ship that would hire him, including a short stint on the naval schooner USS Augustus.
He married Mitsu, a picture bride, in 1906, started a small vegetable farm in western Washington, and produced 10 children, including my father, Ken.
Fusakichi, Mitsu, and their 10 children were among the 110,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry held in the World War II internment camps. And despite being unjustly imprisoned and stripped of his land, Fusakichi believed in America. He believed so strongly in it that he ordered all his sons to volunteer for the U.S. Army.
“You may die, but you must do this to prove that we are loyal to America,” he told his eight sons from behind the barbed-wire walls of the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho.
Six of the eight Sagami boys volunteered and joined the U.S. Army. All of them fought in the highly decorated 442nd Infantry Regiment. One of them, my uncle Yohei, died in France and was posthumously awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star.
Family friends tell me that my grandmother was never the same after Yohei died. She wore his dog tags around her neck and rubbed the metal completely smooth over the next 50 years of her life. It was almost like she was self-medicating the hole that was in her heart.
“And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.”
— Joseph Drake
Stand for Uncle Sam
My father ferociously worshiped five things: Jesus, my mother, hard work, baseball, and the United States of America.
He was as fiercely patriotic as my grandfather. I believe the biggest disappointment I ever caused him was my failure to serve our country.
I turned 18 during the tail end of the Vietnam War, and my father pushed me to go the ROTC route for college. I reluctantly signed up for Navy ROTC and received an appointment. But I dropped out eight days before the start of my freshman year, succumbing to the pleading tears of a now long-gone high school girlfriend.
My quitting ROTC disappointed my father so badly that he didn’t talk to me until Christmas of that year. Of course, he loved me. But I’m not sure he ever fully forgave me.
So what’s this got to do with investing?
My father died in 2009 at 93 years old. But I know he would be disgusted at the government snooping on our phone calls and emails, the IRS’s abuse of power, and other intrusions on the freedoms that the Sagami boys fought for in World War II.
Strong feelings mean opportunity for companies that help people who don’t want the government sticking its nose into our lives; especially our electronic lives.
Companies whose business is to protect private information from prying eyes include FireEye (FEYE), Imperva (IMPV), Barracuda Networks (CUDA), Fortinet (FTNT), Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP), and Palo Alto Networks (PANW).
If you’re more of an ETF investor, take a look at the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK).
Personal privacy and online security are going to be one of the biggest, most-profitable businesses going forward. And you should look for ways to get them in your portfolio. Of course, timing is everything, so I suggest that you wait for my buy signal.
Memorial Day: Not Just Another Day Off
Memorial Day, originally known as “Decoration Day,” was created in 1868 to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.
Today, it honors all the American servicemen and servicewomen who sacrificed their lives for our country. Yet, lately it seems some have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day.
For many, Memorial Day has become an extra day off from work. One that includes barbecues, hamburgers, and baseball instead of a solemn day to reflect and remember the brave men and women who gave their lives for America’s values and freedom.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same.”
— Ronald Reagan
Freedoms, including the right to privacy, are what my Uncle Yohei and hundreds of thousands of other American soldiers fought for. I hope that all of us can take a minute to remember those fallen veterans. We owe them at least that.
The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSE:HACK) was unchanged in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, HACK has gained 14.86%, versus a 8.04% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Money And Markets.