Trump at Mount Rushmore: Controversy, fireworks and personal fascination

0

Trump at Mount Rushmore: Controversy, fireworks and personal fascination
0

Trump at Mount Rushmore: Controversy, fireworks and personal fascination
0

President Donald Trump’s trip to Mount Rushmore Friday for flashy fireworks and military flyover was the culmination of his years-long push to bring a July Fourth display back to the larger-than-life monument to four American presidents that has long fascinated him.

But the visit also came as the nation in recent weeks faced a fresh reckoning of monuments around the country seen by many as symbols of racism and oppression, rather than freedom and greatness, and has raised both public health and environmental concerns. Trump leaned into his criticism Friday night to condemn those who are calling for the removal of controversial monuments throughout the country.

“I am here as your president to proclaim before the country, and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated,” Trump said during Friday night’s speech. “These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never ever be destroyed their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever. As an eternal tribute to our forefathers, and to our freedom.”

With little mention of the surge in cases in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Trump dove head-first into the culture wars and away from any talk of unity. He railed against protesters throughout his remarks, calling them “angry mobs,” which he says pose a “growing danger.”

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Trump said. ” … Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is to end America.”

His speech, attended by about 3,700 people, came as many states are rolling back their reopening plans and as the country posted another record-breaking day in the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases.

Trump made only one, and brief, mention of the coronavirus pandemic at the top of his remarks when he thanked those who were working to defeat it.

“Let us also send our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders and the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus,” he said.

You can read the rest of Jordyn Phelps and Elizabeth Thomas’ article at ABCnews.com

Share this article
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
Reddit