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Let's Give Thanks!

Posted by: Bell Performance

With Thanksgiving approaching, today we temporarily move away from education about fuels and fuel treatments to consider a few interesting and notable facts about this most unique of American holidays. 

Consider these iconic images.

Freedom of Speech  Freedom of Worship  Freedom From Fear

Norman Rockwell in 1943 produced a famous series of oil paintings called The Four Freedoms.  The United States was in the midst of fighting World War II and the paintings were inspired by a Franklin Roosevelt speech from 2 years earlier (the 1941 State of the Union Speech) talking about the four basic human freedoms that everyone around the world should enjoy.  Roosevelt stated these freedoms were (and are) central tenets of what the United States stood for as a nation: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. 

After their publication in 1943, the US Department of the Treasury toured the paintings around the country in a promotional exhibit.  The resulting Four Freedoms Tour raised over $130 million in war bond sales to help the United States and its Allies win the Second World War.

Those paintings (later used on the cover of Saturday Evening Post issues) became iconic images in American popular culture, and only served to magnify Rockwell’s standing as arguably the greatest American artist of the 20th century.

Freedom From Want

The Freedom from Want painting is particularly appropriate for this current time of year; an enduring nostalgic symbol of our American traditional of holiday celebration of Thanksgiving.  Rockwell always claimed that, unlike the other paintings in the Freedom series, this one was one of the easiest to execute, and he actually painted the turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

The Four Freedoms series appeals to a broad base of people because they depict an idealized portrait of life.  Norman Rockwell summed up his form of idealism that he reflected in these and the rest of his work: “I paint life as I want it to be.”

At this time of year, we can’t help but consider all that we have to be thankful for.  The economy is still down but the United States is still the richest country not just in the world but in the history of the world.  Very few of us ever have to worry about going hungry on a regular basis.  We have men and women who, like the Greatest Generation of Rockwell’s time, continue to sacrifice their lives, health and time with their families to protect our freedoms in far-away lands.

Bell Performance joins you in considering all the ways we have been blessed.  The number of companies who have been around as long as we have is very small.  While some of the success is certainly due to having quality products, the real reasons for Bell’s long term success are the customers like you. And for that, Bell Performance is truly thankful. 

This post was published on November 22, 2011 and was updated on November 19, 2013.