We can’t think of many better places to celebrate the Fourth of July than at Mount Rushmore.
After all, it’s a time when we’re supposed to celebrate our nation’s independence and its founding principles of freedom, opportunity and equality. Four former presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, are memorialized on the famous mountain in South Dakota for their roles in either gaining our independence or preserving it.
We as a country owe a debt of gratitude to those men on that sacred mountain. They embody what our country stands for – independence and freedom – and that is all the more reason Mount Rushmore should be able to have a Fourth of July show there next month.
Most people in this country would agree, but not the Biden administration. The administration has arbitrarily and unlawfully denied a permit to hold the Fourth of July event this year, violating a memorandum of agreement that the state of South Dakota has with the U.S. Department of Interior.
The Biden administration argues that the COVID-19 pandemic should preclude a fireworks celebration. But South Dakota’s COVID cases are the lowest they’ve been in 14 months. There were zero cases tied to last year’s fireworks event. And more than half of all South Dakota adults have been fully vaccinated.
The administration also claims the event raises environmental concerns.
The reasoning the Biden administration is giving for not letting people celebrate the Fourth of July at Mount Rushmore is very weak, not founded in fact and is sadly highly political. Could the fact that South Dakota is a very red state that didn’t vote for the Biden ticket in 2020 be a factor?
Last July, when COVID was relatively new, we wouldn’t have blamed Biden for cancelling the event had he been president at the time. But to do it this year, when COVID is on the way out, is simply dirty politics and sadly punishing a state and its economy and thousands upon thousands of people who were planning on coming there this year to celebrate our nation’s independence.
We have long known that the virus isn’t transmitted as easily in an outdoor setting.
The Biden argument on the environment is a moot point. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says all environmental concerns were addressed before last year’s fireworks celebration. Noem said her administration worked with the National Park Service to conduct a study that found “no significant impact” on the environment from the event. Noem said her state had fire response resources pre-staged before the event, and no fire occurred. And organizers had a go/no-go checklist in place that would have canceled the event if there had been severe fire concerns on the day of the celebration.
The Biden administration points out that certain Native American tribes opposed the event. But Noem’s administration consulted with them before last year’s celebration. The updates included programming to celebrate Native heritage at the event. If the Biden administration actually believes this reason justifies canceling, it would have to shut down the memorial altogether.
In essence, the Biden administration is listing concerns that have already been addressed and aren’t concerns anymore.
We believe Biden canceled the fireworks show at Mount Rushmore because he caved to the radical wing of the modern Democratic Party that deep down wants to cancel the men displayed on that mountain.
This is really sad, because a fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore is the perfect way to honor these men etched in the mountain and the ideals that they dedicated their lives to that we believe made this country a much better place.
We are hopeful Biden breaks from his far-left base on this issue and allows Americans from all walks of life to come to Mount Rushmore this Fourth of July and celebrate our nation’s independence there as they have for decades.
It’s the right thing to do.