Crowds gather at Mount Rushmore for Fourth of July celebration

KEYSTONE, S.D. — There’s no better place to be on the Fourth of July than Mount Rushmore.

While crowds weren’t nearly as large as last year, love of country still brought plenty of people out to see the presidents both carved – and in real life.

“It’s very rewarding when you have youngsters, and i‘m not talking about necessarily two- or three-year-old youngsters, but I’m also talking about 98-year-old veterans from World War II who are still pretty much youngsters. There’s this laughter about them, sort of gleam in the eye, sort of there’s heritage and history right here. Well, it makes me feel good because that means there’s a lot of Americans who still remember their history, still remember the things that made them proud to be who they are and where they are,” said Roosevelt.

“And so I try to convey that while they were people, the achievements that these people made was extraordinary, and it means they can achieve things that they couldn’t imagine,” said Jefferson.

Crowds lined up to see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Rushmore Naturalization

Remaining in character, Roosevelt spoke of some of the changes he’s seen.

“I hate to say this, but the telephone for one, it took me a long time to get used to having a telephone in Sagimore Hill, Oyster Bay. Heck it, actually took me a long time to actually own a car, I wasn’t real thrilled with that. But those are mechanical achievements. I think what I like to see is, well, Americans of all sorts – be they recent immigrants, or have been here a while and have built up something for themselves – and understand that this land is a place for opportunity, and that opportunity is to do well, to make something for yourself. It’s also an opportunity to fail, there’s no guarantees, and by golly, I think most Americans still feel that way,” Roosevelt said.

And while Jefferson planned to spend his evening at his farm, he hopes this generation can learn a thing or two from the founding fathers.

“It is a law of nature that generations pass one to another. And I can only hope that the generation that is now on the stage will be able to preserve for their sons the public and political blessings that have been delivered to their hands by the generation of 1776. I am your servant,” Jefferson said.

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