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Mount Rushmore

August 18, 2010

For so many years I have seen and heard about Mt. Rushmore.  My thoughts were “four presidents carved out of a rock on the side of a mountain; that’s interesting”.

You know how sometimes when you see something in person it doesn’t live up to your expectations.  I’m happy to say that Mt. Rushmore does and then some.  When you learn how engineering and sculpture came together to create this remarkable place it was well worth the journey.

It’s easy enough to read about who and how it was done but if you want the short version:  Doane Robinson, a local historian, was the inspiration but his goal was to create a tourist attraction to bring people to the Black Hills of South Dakota. He chose Gutzon Borglum, a well known artist, to do it.  Borglum began designing it in 1925 at the age of 58.  It took 14 years at a cost $1,000,000 to turn it into a National Monument.  The four presidents are Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln.  They were chosen by Borglum to represent the birth, growth, preservation, and development of the United States.  Some may take issue with one of the choices from a political point of view but that doesn’t distract from the spectacular result of his efforts.

And just when you think you have seen it all, evening comes and they slowly light up the faces of the presidents with a spectacular light show.  It can be seen from many miles away.

The wind and weather have had very little effect on the granite faces – their endurance represents the endurance of freedom and opportunity that this great nation stands for.

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