We got through yesterday’s leap day and tomorrow is Dr. Suess’ birthday. So why is today a big deal? Well, in our family history today is Our 3-D Day — our Dad’s deployment day. As the old song goes, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.” Dad sent us a quick thumbs up picture as he headed off to the airport, going from mobilization and training in the US to actual deployment in Afghanistan. So for him, us, his fellow servicemen and women and their families, today is a big deal. It’s hard, but remember: Smile, smile, smile.
Speaking of Big Deals, Here’s a Monumental Flag Visit!
Recently, Our Dad’s Flag visited Mount Rushmore, the presidential and national treasure that symbolizes our country’s freedom — a reminder forever carved in stone.
Nearly 3 million people visit the national memorial at Mount Rushmore every year, which is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The monument features four presidents. The first (from left to right) is George Washington as our first president with vision who represents independence, liberty and our Constitution. Next, there’s Tomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence who encouraged self-government, religious freedom and expanded our territories. Then there’s Theodore Roosevelt featured for his accomplishments of getting the Panama Canal in the works and working to create a nation of greater economic opportunities. Lastly, Abraham Lincoln was carved for getting our country through the Civil War, creating unity and abolishing slavery.
Many thanks to Ranger Ed Menard for hosting Our Dad’s Flag at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
How Did They Do That?
Sculptor Gutzon Borgulm and a team of 400 men blasted with dynamite and hung from the great hill, carving, chiseling, and polishing the Harney Peak granite into the presidential monument. They started drilling in 1927 and completed the work in 1941. It took close to 14 years and cost one million dollars.
Sioux Win Some, Sioux Lose Some
Not everyone thought the memorial sculpture was a good idea. The Sioux Indians of the area were not in agreement with the carving of the Black Hills, they believed that the hills are sacred ground and their beauty should be preserved. Interestingly enough, the folks behind the initial idea of building a large sculpture to draw people to South Dakota thought the monument should only feature Native Americans, heroes and pioneers of the “wild west” like Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody. Alas, it was not to be. The “national” draw of patriotism prevailed as the theme and the vision of Gutzon Borgulm came to life.
Not to go unrecognized, in 1948, a stone carving memorial of Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was started and to this day is still being worked on near Mount Rushmore.
Big, Solid and Strong
In his 1927 speech dedicating the national monument, President Calvin Coolidge spoke of the potential of Mount Rushmore, “It will be decidedly American in its conception, in its magnitude, in its meaning and altogether worthy of our Country. No one can look upon it understandingly without realizing that it is a picture of hope fulfilled.”
So let’s remember when we pledge allegiance that America is solid as a rock and a really big deal! Let’s remain thankful for its enduring democracy, strong liberty and everlasting justice. And to one of our other national treasures –the US Armed Forces at home and afar; thank you for your service, you’re a picture of hope’s promise. Smile, smile, smile.
For more information on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, for great facts and history, visit the National Parks page. Keep up the great work Ranger Ed!
Like it? Love it? Want more of it?
We’ve got a real fun and exciting visit coming up next week so stay tuned as Our Dad’s Flag continues to travel the US promoting patriotism . . . Comments? Use the link below. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to sign up as an email follower, share this, tweet all about it and like us on Facebook. The more the merrier on this awesome trip! Thanks for reading.
PS – Did you Know?
It is said that in 1885 an attorney from New York named Charles Rushmore traveled through the Black Hills of South Dakota. When he asked his guide what the mountain’s name was he told him it didn’t have one . . . since then it’s been named Rushmore. Leave it to a pushy New York lawyer! (A sweet lil’ zing to all you JD’s out there!)