MOUNT RUSHMORE, S.D. (KELO) — As part of an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore, President Donald Trump addressed the crowd gathered to hear from him and see fireworks at the National Memorial.
7,500 people were expected to attend the event, which included flyovers from the United States Air Force, hoop dancers and Lakota storytellers.
The president was joined by First Lady Melania Trump along with other family members. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds were among the politicians in the dignitary box with President Trump.
Trump said there was no better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than at Mount Rushmore.
“Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom,” Trump said.
President Trump says there is a campaign to wipe-out American values. He said angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of founding fathers.
He said the American people are strong and proud and won’t let the history, values and culture be taken from them.
President Trump said “cancel culture” is the definition of totalitarianism. He says there’s no place for it in America.
President Trump said children are taught to hate their country in schools. He said the attack focuses on the faces on Mount Rushmore. He called Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln “American giants.”
He said governments were created to protect the safety and happiness of its people.
“A nation must care for its own citizens first,” he said after reminding the crowd, “We are building the wall.”
While at the Shrine to Democracy, President Trump announced a new monument park that will feature statues of “the greatest Americans to have ever lived.”
According to the President‘s executive order, “The National Garden should be composed of statues, including statues of John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.”
The executive order calls for the National Garden to be open prior to the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2026.