|Norman Rockwell, "Freedom From Want," 1943|
Probably the best-known and liked American Thanksgiving painting is by Norman Rockwell, but it wasn't painted for that holiday. It's part of a Rockwell's four painting series that was used during World War II to raise money for war bonds. The series by Mr. Rockwell was based on "The Four Freedoms," enumerated in President Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 State of the Union speech. The freedoms enumerated were freedom from want and fear and freedom of speech and religion. The painting "Freedom From Want" did actually make a cover of the Saturday Evening Post during March 1943 rather than at Thanksgiving. But it's certainly appropriate for November.
|J.C. Leyendecker, "Saturday Evening Post Cover" 1928|
The soldier's mother is of course the entire civilian nation, overjoyed at the return of their sons and husbands, yet grieving for the enormous loss; thankful for deliverance.
This year, Lincoln's hope that the wounds of the nation can be bound up by a national day of thanksgiving is a more fervent wish than in many years.