Landon Thomas Jr. recently wrote an article in the New York Times regarding our participation in the recent March for the Fallen Event.
Landon’s article was well-written and provided a compelling narrative. However, much of the attention of the article was focused on Alpha Architect and my personal story, which we genuinely appreciate.
But I was one of many…
There were 500+ alongside us on the March and their participation in the event was more inspiring than my own (I used to march around for a living in the Marines, whereas many have not!).(1)
I was humbled to be part of the story. It was also an honor for the collective team that we could bring attention to fallen service members and remind Gold Star families that their sacrifices are not forgotten, like my fellow Marine and TBS classmate, Travis Manion.
Nonetheless, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the March for the Fallen is decidedly not about me, not about Alpha Architect, and not about financial services.
The March for the Fallen is about honoring those who sacrificed so much. And the intent is not only to mourn the fallen, but also to bring people together to tell stories of the past and to dream of making a better future.
Positive-energy. Team-oriented. Inspirational.
Why are events like March for the Fallen so important?
I think the answer was given to us in Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, in a speech he shared on the battlefield of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War:
…But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. 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 this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Most fallen warriors would agree. Our energy should not be spent on mourning the fact they are no longer with us, or arguing over the political decisions that led to their sacrifice. Instead, we should focus on carrying the torch forward with renewed vigor and inspiration to make our communities and the world a better place.
If you’d like to be part of a special life experience and a chance to March for the Fallen, please join us next year. (If you want to start training, here is a link to Dave Babulak’s weekly training series).
Here is a video Kyle made using materials shot by Ryan Kirlin during the event:
After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm dedicated to an impact mission of empowering investors through education. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Embedded (Naval Institute Press, 2009), Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016).
Dr. Gray currently resides in Palmas Del Mar Puerto Rico with his wife and three children. He recently finished the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race and promises to make better life decisions in the future.
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