President Donald Trump announced at Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day that he has signed an executive order to establish a vast outdoor park to feature statues of historys notable Americans.
“I am announcing the creation of a new monument to the giants of our past. I am signing an executive order to establish the National Garden of American heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live,” Trump said in a speech at Mount Rushmore, as part of July 4 celebrations with thousands of people at the South Dakota landmark.
“Let us go forward united in our purpose and rededicated in our resolve,” the president added. “We will raise the next generation of American patriots, we will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure and we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no-one can hold them down. They will know that in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.”
The new National Garden will come as part Trumps executive order on Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes, which orders that the site be composed of statues commemorating notable American figures including John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.
The order stipulates that the site be opened for public access before July 4, 2026—the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence.
A task force will nominate potential sites for the location of the National Garden, and other options related to its creation, and submit a report to Trump within 60 days of the order.
The statues should depict “historically significant Americans” who have contributed positively to America throughout its history, per the executive order. The term “historically significant American” is defined in the order as “an individual who was, or became, an American citizen and was a public figure who made substantive contributions to Americas public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on Americas history.”
The term also includes figures who lived before the American Revolution and were not American citizens but made “substantive historical contributions to the discovery, development, or independence of” the United States, such as Christopher Columbus, Junipero Serra, and the Marquis de La Fayette.
The statue or work of art should also be a “lifelike or realistic representation of” the individual being depicted, and not “an abstract or modernist representation,” the order reads.
Destruction of Statues
Trump in the executive order cited the recent wave of statue-toppling and acts of vandalism that have occurred across the nation amid protests following the death of George Floyd.
“To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance. In recent weeks, in the midst of protests across America, many monuments have been vandalized or destroyed,” Trump said in his order. “Some local governments have responded by taking their monuments down.”
He noted that monuments to key figures in American history—Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Francis Scott Key, Ulysses S. Grant—as well as monuments to leaders of the abolitionist movement, the first all-volunteer African-American regiment of the Union Army in the Civil War, and American soldiers killed in the First and Second World Wars, have been destroyed, vandalized, or removed.
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“These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn,” TrumRead More From Source