Nothing can be more patriotic than spending the Fourth of July at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. The gigantic sculpture of President George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln attracts millions of tourists each year. We paid our respect to our founding fathers on this Independence Day.
Took the mountain road of Black Hills, we passed thick pine forest growing on rocks and drove through Keystone, a little town at the foot of the memorial. It was just past 8 in the morning, vehicles have lined up at the entrance. The Memorial is run by a concessionaire, so national park pass is not valid here. But senior citizens get a 50% discount at $5 for a vehicle.
Columns of granite with states flags lined up the road leading to the Grand View Terrace. Each column engraved the year of a state that was admitted to union on four sides. The gate of the Grand View Terrace framed the sculpture of presidents. Tall pines and huge rocks with sparkling quartz flank the path. This monument was designed as a shrine to democracy. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum spent 14 years to complete this magnificent mountain carving.
“Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.”
– Gutzon Borglum
The stately sculpture of the presidents carved on the peak of Mt Rushmore faces east. The blue sky enhanced the grandeur of the monument. According to nps.gov, Borglum chose these four presidents because they were “instrumental in the birth, growth, development and preservation of the United States.” The movie North by Northwest was shot here, and made this monument even more famous.
People adorn themselves with clothes with patriotic theme to celebrate the Fourth of July. A large group of boy scouts stood on the terrace and had a selfie with the sculpture. This was a day of patriotism at Mt Rushmore.