- - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his 1941 State of the Union address to Congress as Europe was going up in flames. A true leader, Roosevelt spoke of the values that this nation, while imperfect, tried to make a reality.

In a series of paintings commissioned for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell made the president’s Four Freedoms Speech come alive. Like the world of 1941, a time filled with uncertainty and a time when all Americans looked across the seas at a world descending into turmoil and conflict, today is a time in which we need to hold fast to those same ideals.

As Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving across this great nation, it is our hope and our prayer that great conflict can be avoided.


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Yet we know in our hearts that there will be a trigger point, an event that so shakes us, everything will change. Then, for the second time in the life of this nation, the giant will wake to go forth to save civilization. We will find ourselves capable of doing what we never believed possible, and we will do whatever is required.

Roosevelt gave voice to what was worth fighting for and took the “Greatest Generation” forward. Today we have the ideals and principles of the freedoms of which he reminded us etched in our hearts and minds.



Like Britain in 1941, the world of 2015 hangs on and waits for America. And America hangs on and awaits a leader.

JOHN D. KRISTOFF

Washington

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