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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mount Rushmore

If you ever have the opportunity to to go Keystone, SD (outside of Rapid City, SD)--DON'T MISS IT!!! Mount Rushmore is the most stunning place. I know it's a big carved rock, but when you learn what it took to make that rock, you will be amazed.

Trivia: Each eyeball is 11 feet across.

We went in the evening to see the lighting ceremony. No fireworks, no lasers, but we all agree it was one of the best ceremonies we've seen. The Park Ranger talks about the Lewis & Clark expedition and some of the history of Mount Rushmore. Then, there's a movie showing how it came to pass that Rushmore was built and the history of our nation leading up to this. As the movie finishes, the lights slowly but surely turn on and illuminate the faces.

The lighting turns on fully while everyone sings "The Star Spangled Banner". Then all of the veterans and active duty military are invited onto the stage. The colors are retired for the night and the veterans are thanked for their service to our great country. I cried at the simplicity, the beauty and the honor given to our nation. I'm a little jaded these days and don't feel that people respect our flag, our country or our military as they did in the past. This restored some hope to my soul and I was reminded that we are a part of the greatest nation on earth.

We went back the next day to get a few brighter photos and Nathan & Rebekah were able to get their Junior Ranger badges. Every National Park has a Jr. Ranger program. I encourage you to have your children participate. It gives them activities where they actively learn about the park--without sounding like a school lesson--and as the kids learn, so will you. Then when they complete the required activities, they get a Junior Ranger badge.

Now for our funny kid moment at Mount Rushmore. When asking our kids which part of Rushmore is their favorite (meaning which president), Rebekah announces, "I like the elephant the best."

Excuse me--did she just say elephant?

Oh yes, yes she did. Then she proceeded to point out to us and describe the elephant. Guess what--she's right. There's an elephant in Mt. Rushmore. (Click on the photo to enlarge it to a bigger photo.)

1 comment:

Sher said...

We were there earlier this summer although we didn't get to see the video because it was too windy. We did see the lighting though and after it was all lit up, in his loudest voice, Camden says, "When are they going to light it?" Everyone around us thought it was funny. I was somewhat embarassed. It sure takes a lot to impress a kid these days. Glad you had a good trip!!

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