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Dr. Anderson: Celebrate freedom
larry anderson
Dr. Larry Anderson of Anderson Family Medicine in Dawsonville. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Happy Fourth of July! What a great celebration this year. We can be outdoors with each other. See some fireworks. Start the grill. Visit with friends. 

In 1941, FDR in his State of The Union address to Congress delivered a speech that has become known as the Four Freedoms speech. He said that everyone in the world should have these four freedoms and at the end, I will add a fifth freedom that I think he would agree with. 

Freedom of Speech. That is one that is still under attack today. Look how many people that have been banned from social media because Facebook, Twitter, etc. did not like what was said. When you speak, make your speech the truth.

Freedom of Want. There are still hungry people in our city, county, state, country and world.  There does not seem to be a shortage of food but a shortage of being able to put the food on the plate of those who are hungry. There are a hundred reasons as to why, but there are a thousand solutions to that problem. Take it upon yourself to make it happen. Norman Rockwell painted the cover of the Saturday Evening Post of a family having Thanksgiving dinner and the main course was a turkey. The rest is history

Freedom of Religion. Another one that could use some additional work today. We tend to use a broad brush to paint any religion that we disagree with. It takes as much courage to be a Christian as it does to be a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Sikh, a Buddhist, a Coptic Orthodox, a Jehovah Witness and the list goes on. All these religions have been formed and survived for a reason. The responsibility to judge is not in our bailiwick, so stop it.

Freedom of Fear. This is my favorite. Through the centuries, the bad guys have always used fear to control and intimidate others. Pick a dictator and you will see how that works. My favorite line from A Few Good Men is “our job is to protect those who cannot protect themselves”. That is one of the reasons we have the Sheriff, Police, GBI, Firefighters, EMT, Military and a whole lot more, including us, looking out for our neighbors. Wave and say thank you whenever you see them.

The fifth freedom should be Freedom of COVID-19. Remember these are freedoms that everyone in the world should enjoy. Americans have always answered the call to arms in the first four freedoms. The knock on your door, the ring on your phone, or whatever noise your cell phone makes is a call to arms for COVID-19. Answer the phone. Remember Hemingway, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls for it tolls for thee.”  It is not Avon Calling, it is COVID-19 calling. Join the fight.

The reason we enjoy all these freedoms is we truly live in the land of the free, because it is the home of the brave. Millions have been brave enough to take the vaccine and do their part to help keep us free from COVID-19. 

This fight is almost over but needs the final push. Get the vaccine. Happy Fourth of July! Thank a veteran. 

Thanks for reading.

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