Across America there are 117 national monuments… Which one was the most difficult to build? Surely, it has to be Mount Rushmore.
The gigantic cliff towers 500 feet above the valley of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Every day, beginning on October 4, 1927, 400 workers climbed 700 steps to the top. Once there, the stone carvers strapped themselves into swing seats. Cables lowered them over the side. For weeks, and months and years they worked blasting and drilling away the stone of this magnificent mountain. They carved into the granite the faces of four Presidents who played major roles in the formation of our country. Each of the faces is as high as a 5-story building. It took 14 years to carve those faces. The work displaced a half million tons of stone.
But, when they were done there stood the faces of 4 Presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. What engineering that took, what artistry, and what courage. For past generations, for us, and for those to come, all of us should feel a sense of confidence in what we can accomplish when we work together for the common good. I think there is also a feeling of comfort knowing that the stone likenesses of these great men will forever look out over the green forests and the lush valleys of the country we call America.