As I sit here in Iraq missing Father’s Day with my family for the second time since Sept. 11, 2001, my mind wanders to the promise I made to my son the day he was born. As a former Marine who lost 241 brothers in the Beirut bombing on Oct. 23, 1983, Sept. 5, 2001, was the first time in 18 years that I knew why I wasn’t in that building.
I held my son for the first time and thought of the Four Freedoms as four things I would promise him. If I could provide him these things, I would be a successful father. Six days later, our country was attacked, and it seemed as if “Freedom from Fear” would never again be a reality.
The Four Freedoms were presented by President Franklin Roosevelt during his 1941 State of the Union address. In 1943 they were immortalized by Norman Rockwell. The first painting, “Freedom of Speech,” depicts an ordinary man standing and speaking freely at what appears to be a town meeting. The city of Burbank thinks enough of this painting that it currently hangs in our council chambers.