Citing four freedoms that make America the great, state Rep. Kevin Dunlap stirred the audience at the annual McMinnville Evening Exchange One Nation Under God breakfast Tuesday morning.
“It’s an honor and privilege to live in this great land,” Dunlap told the capacity audience in the Central Church of Christ fellowship hall. “I want to challenge all of you to stand up, speak up, and be a leader. Don’t be afraid.”
Dunlap based his address on the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who addressed the country during the uncertainty of World War II.
“Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Dunlap explained, pointing out that we live in a land of tranquility and civility, where we do not have to fear secret police or Gestapo members invading our homes in the middle of the night.
Dunlap pointed out the four freedoms that we hold so dearly according to Roosevelt were freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
“There aren’t many countries in history where you could disagree with your leaders,” the lawmaker said, noting freedom of expression is something we hold dear as Americans. “It is a freedom our soldiers have died to protect.”
Dunlap cautioned that Americans must be mindful of their liberties so not to lose them over time.
“If we don’t understand our liberties, there may be a day when we lose our freedoms,” Dunlap noted.
The freshman representative added that with freedom of expression comes the responsibility to be civil to one another, no matter one’s political view.
“We have a responsibility to treat others as we want to be treated ourselves,” Dunlap declared. “Even if you disagree with them, you should treat them with respect.”
Dunlap was the keynote speaker at the annual event which is a program of the Exchange Club focusing on American Heritage and God. Present at the meeting, along with Exchange members and noted members of the community, were several school students from the varying county schools.