It’s me. I’m the proud American.
I got a little excited as that girl and I first glimpsed Mount Rushmore while ascending the serpentine highway leading there through the Black Hills. “There they are!” I said to that girl. I pointed through the trees as we rounded a sweeping corner.
A few minutes later we found a parking spot and began wading through a sea of people streaming toward the viewpoint. Soon, we found ourselves navigating through more people along the walk of state flags. Looking up at those familiar faces carved in the mountain above me, I became decidedly emotional. Honestly, I had to fight back tears of pride.
We are a great nation.
Having driven through hundreds of miles of our beautiful, open West to arrive at Rushmore, I felt ridiculously proud yesterday as that girl and I stood there below those faces. Giants among men, those.
One man fought to free the whole nation. One man gave the means to preserve our freedoms in perpetuity. One man preserved our wild spaces for all eternity. One man finally gave freedom to those yet oppressed.
And so much more.
Posted are a couple photographs I captured at Mount Rushmore.
I love you, America. I really do.