The United States of America, the greatest country the world has ever known.
I heard that alot growing up.
Accolades for American greatness came from politicians, foreign statesmen, artists and writers, journalists, Hollywood, my teachers. It could be heard in the crashing of generational waves of immigrants onto our shores, all wanting to become Americans. Hell, even my own kin folk broke down in sentiment on a 4th of July or two.
America’s secret to greatness was no secret: we were the land of the free. We were free and we celebrated and touted it, exported it and, we told ourselves and the rest of the world: this freedom is enduring.
Freedom defined who we were and it justified how we lived… the big ideas, the free markets, the hippies and Hollywood, helping our neighbors worldwide in times of crisis… we were great, rich, and generous.
In remembrance of our freedom and its stamp on the the American character, I give you two great Americans, Franklin Roosevelt and Norman Rockwell …
THE FOUR FREEDOMS
excerpt from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech to Congress, 6 January 1941
… and illustrated by the great Norman Rockwell
In the future days which we seek to make secure,
we look forward to a world founded upon
four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression —
everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
cross posted at Daily Kos