Re­call Roo­sevelt’s mes­sage

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - JOHN D. KRISTOFF Wash­ing­ton

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.

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.

Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt

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