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An American Celebration

By: Senator John Thune

June 25, 2010

On July 4, 1930, famous American sculptor Gutzon Borglum's 60-foot sculpture of George Washington at Mount Rushmore was unveiled to the public and dedicated. Later, Washington would be joined by Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Washington led America through her struggle for independence, Jefferson helped mold the young democracy, Lincoln unified a divided country, and President Roosevelt, both a war hero and a Nobel prize winner, counts among his accomplishments the setting aside of national parks which have become so integral to South Dakota's identity.

On Independence Day, we not only celebrate the birth of this nation, but also the men and women throughout our history who shaped it.

Across South Dakota, many of us will celebrate our sacred liberty with family and friends. Backyard barbeques, outdoor activities, and fireworks displays of all sorts epitomize this great day. The unbridled excitement in the eyes of our children, as they wait in expectation for the sun to finally drop, is matched only by the silent awe to come.

As we stand at dusk with our families and friends to watch fireworks this Fourth of July, we should all think for a moment about the brave men and women who fought and died to give this great nation its freedom and liberty.

Let us remember the people throughout our history who dedicated their lives so that we all may have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream-especially the brave men and women around the world who still fight to maintain our prized liberty.

I wish you and your family a very happy, memorable Fourth of July.