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 by Frank Shortt
What Mt. Rushmore means to America
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The hills of South Dakota provided a perfect site for honoring four of our most famous Americans. These men devoted their lives to the propagation of peace and prosperity in the United States.

When a Sculptor was chosen, it was not an easy decision! The mantle finally fell upon one Gutzon Borglum, an artist of note, who was pretty well established in the art world. He had already gained fame for his work on the east coast of America. The work took 14 years to finish, although it was never truly finished as each figure was supposed to have the lower torso finished. A runout in funding prevented Lincoln Borglum from finishing the work of his father, Gutzon, who died in 1941. What remains cost the taxpayers of America a whopping $989,992.32 in 1930-1940 dollars.

The four that were chosen played a considerable role in the History of America. It must have been a great battle among politicians of the day to decide who deserved the right to represent our country in a permanent display. It has been mentioned by, some haters of history, that Mt. Rushmore be destroyed. Some of us do not take into consideration the times that these men lived, the barriers they faced, the battles they won, and the decisions they had to make for all people. One even paid the supreme sacrifice for his decisions!

George Washington has been called the “Father of our Land”! He, with many faults as we all have, was a true connoisseur of freedom who led a rag tag band of volunteers to aspire to higher ideals. This is a reminder to us today that eternal vigilance is the only price of true freedom! The first president of our great nation turned down the offer to become King George the First even under great pressure from his peers.

Thomas Jefferson stands alone as the author of a dream. He hoped that each of us would be guaranteed the pursuit of Life, Liberty and happiness. He also took into account that when a government is allowed to tax the very food we eat, that government has ceased to love its citizens. It appears that his worst fears are realized today!

Abraham Lincoln has been called by historians, The Great Emancipator. On a raft trip down the Mississippi, accompanying a merchant, he was introduced to the slave markets of Louisiana. When he saw the selling of men, as one would sell an automobile, he cried, “I will break the slavery of men if it costs me my life!! John Wilkes Booth, a disgruntled actor, made this prophecy a reality. Booth sneaked into Ford Theater in Washington killing Lincoln out of malice for his fellow men and thereby gained fame as the killer of the greatest hope for freedom that America has ever known!

Theodore Roosevelt spent much of his early life in the Black Hills of the Dakotas as a ranchman, hunter, and outdoorsman. During the Spanish/American War he was known as Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. As president, his motto was, “Walk softly and carry a big stick!! This was in reference to his stand against challengers of America. This motto rang world-wide! He was a statesman, who through his policies made the U. S. a world power. He was a formidable foe of anyone who threatened the freedom all Americans of his day!

Four men, with far-seeing dreams for America, enshrined in stone for everyone in the world to see. All four, as mentioned before, had faults and demons that each must face on a daily basis. Even with all their faults, it is assured that each man cared deeply for the citizens of their time, and was not slack to express these very emotions! They are a part of the History of the United States!

My verdict is: Leave Mt. Rushmore alone! If harsh nature chooses to destroy this monument, so be it!