What quote am I vibing? “Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will." Jefferson Smith, from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Road Day: 25
National Parks Visited: 5 (Mt. Rushmore National Memorial)
Found Him! Count: 5
When my friend Nikki let me know months ago that she worked security for Rushmore last summer, and would love to give me a tour, I was so excited for the chance to spend time together and get the inside scoop. Nikki, Heidi, Serenity, and I trekked up the hills to Mt. Rushmore, and had the perfect crisp and cool evening gazing at these remarkable men.
A walk below the monument (the sculptor's shed was closed for renovation), a wander through the museum, and a very self-controlled visit to the gift shop were followed by ice cream and the monument lighting service, which begins at 8 every evening.
The ice cream was delicious - a recipe written down by Thomas Jefferson, which he served at Monticello. It was served with Wojapi Berry Sauce, which is traditionally made with blueberries, raspberries, and honey. YUM.
When Nikki mentioned the lighting ceremony a couple days ago - it really felt like the right choice to go then, and enjoy the monument in a way that not everyone gets to see. The ceremony was beautiful - a park ranger presented information about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. She also shared one of her favorite quotes, which I referred to above - a quote about liberty from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. There was a 20-minute movie about these men, and about the history that the sculptor hoped to present. The monument was lit during America the Beautiful, and then the anthem played. Veterans were called to the stage and the flag was retired for the night.
It is wonderful to be reminded of why I love this man - TR. His commitment to the "common man" in an age of runaway industry and wealth. His passion for conservation. He is physically almost a cornerstone of the monument. A man of the 19th and 20th centuries, who would have fit in well with our Founding Fathers. Passion persists.