Famous New England artist Norman Rockwell created paintings based on the Four Freedoms outlined in a speech by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941 as World War II was being waged, and the artwork was sold to raise money for war bonds. The paintings illustrate Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear.
Steve Ballok of Monroe heads the Four Freedoms Project in which donations are raised and a print of each painting is hung somewhere in town. So far, "Freedom of Speech" is on display in the Town Council Chambers of Monroe Town Hall and "Freedom of Worship" hangs inside Edith Wheeler Memorial Library.
On Monday night, Ballok told members of the police station's building committee that he hopes to present "Freedom from Want" to the Monroe Food Pantry and "Freedom from Fear" to the Monroe Police Department.
"The police department is the agency that keeps us safe in our homes and that painting says that in a warm inviting way," Ballok explained.
The prints are bought from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. When a print of "Freedom of Worship" was presented to the library, the museum's director made a presentation on the painting in the Ehlers Meeting Room and refreshments were served upstairs afterward.
Books on world religions were bought with some of the donations and given to the library as part of the Four Freedoms Project donation. If the police department is willing to accept the "Freedom from Fear" print, Ballok said something along that theme would also be donated.
"It's a nice fundraiser," Ballok said.
Chief John Salvatore said he would get a copy of the painting from the Internet and Capt. Michael Flick said he will show it to the interior designer for the police building project.