We’ve all seen it before. It might just be the most famous icon of America (next to the Statue of Liberty). As a matter of fact I had seen it so many times, in one form or another, that I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about seeing it in person. How incredibly short-sighted I was.
The park we stayed in while in South Dakota was only 20 minutes from Mount Rushmore and there is a certain point when you round a corner on the road where you can see George Washington’s profile. At that point all my previous apathy toward the monument was transformed. My mouth hung open and my eyes bulged and there were still three presidents waiting to be seen.
It was not only the sheer size of Mount Rushmore, nor the amazing skill it took to create this colossal sculpture, nor even the fact that in the 14 years it took to sculpt this mountain in to a work of art not one of the 400 men involved died; no, it was more than all of these. It was a feeling of nostalgia for a time I never lived in.
Mount Rushmore was created during the Great Depression and yet there was more hope and reverence in the act of creating Mount Rushmore than I think I have ever seen in my entire lifetime or ever will. It speaks of a time when America still strove to be great and Americans still thought their country was the best place to live. The people weren’t preoccupied with bringing everyone one down to their level, but recognized that it was partially do to the brilliance of these men and others like them that made America the envy of the world.
If you have the chance to see it don’t pass it up.