Recent news from regional news outlet KELO affirmed that the National Parks Service under the leadership of President Biden has once again declined Governor Kristi Noem’s (R-SD) solicitation for an Independence Day fireworks spectacle at Mount Rushmore.
This action continues a pattern seen in past years. A representative of NPS responded to inquiries from the KELO’s news team, elaborating on their rejection of Noem’s plea. Their diverging views with the State Governor on the matter have been a longstanding disagreement.
According to the National Park Service, this judgment was originally set in place during the winter month of January.
In a letter unveiled by the journal, the NPS justified their refusal, stating that the key reason is the apprehension of potential negative impacts on the cultural traditions of the multiple tribes in the area. It appears that a loud burst of fireworks isn’t exactly music to everyone’s ears or a joy to everyone’s culture.
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In the words of the National Parks Service, this perspective was voiced by the involved Tribes during consultations in 2020, and has been backed by Tribal government officials through subsequent confrontations and epistles.
It’s clear that the sentiment regarding Mount Rushmore isn’t one of universal celebration but of divisive debate and this division is tied together by the deep threads of tribal concerns.
In essence, the Memorial is pledged to foster its relationship with the Tribal governments, taking on the mandate to work hand-in-hand with the Tribes in managing the land, as directed under Secretary’s Order 3403.
This manifests that the decisions related to federal oversight of lands, waters, and wildlife within NPS jurisdiction are taken with high regard for the safeguarding of the interests of the Indian Tribes that such actions may impact.
Significantly in May of 2021, a Traditional Cultural Survey was executed at the Memorial by Native American Tribes’ officials.
The underlying message: under President Joe Biden’s administration, no celebration would take place if it’s perceived as a potential affront to the sensibilities of neighboring Native American communities. The interests of the indigenous tribes would seemingly take precedence over pro-nationalistic celebrations.
This is the case even though the National Park does not stand on reservation land and is effectively owned by the people of the United States, a fact that’s been easily overlooked by this administration.
Their decision has limited its usage and thereby, has somewhat relegated the rights of American citizens to celebrate the nation’s birth in their own, time-honored way.
In January, Governor Noem made a statement on social media expressing her firm belief that the optimal manner in which to observe America’s Birthday is under the glow of fireworks at Mount Rushmore.
In the same breath, she expressed her indignation at the denial of the Biden Administration. The sparkle of the contested pyrotechnic display was turned down by the government under Biden. Again.
Thus, yet again, Governor Noem’s endeavors have sadly ended in futility, and the revered monument of America’s most influential presidents will not bask in the light of celebratory fireworks this Independence Day. The request resubmission has been rejected, leaving the stony faces of the iconic presidents in the shadow of the decision.
Opinions such as the one delineated by Peter Partoli, a contributor to The Western Journal and the Sacramento Bee, find this outrageous, as counterintuitively, a large ‘Pride’ gathering was approved at the Yosemite National Park.
Critically this area is both noted for its ecological sensitivity and its significant tribal relevance. Big events that contradict cultural sensitivities seem to get the green light, yet the standard celebration of nationhood is halted.
It’s intriguing, considering such ‘Pride’ events have been known for their unabashedly exuberant activities which could be perceived as debauchery, capable of causing a political and ideological chasm.
An event unifying us as a nation under common ideals would be, presumably, universally accepted. However, it seems President Biden’s administration has reservations about such unifying occasions.
According to pundit perspective, their policy seems to instill confusion by supporting controversial celebrations in environmentally sensitive and culturally important locations, while declining one unanimously celebrated by all Americans. This apparent double standard causes a stirring division.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) didn’t hold back in expressing his disgust via social media. He contrasted the approval of a Gay Pride gathering in a national park, which seems to be perfectly acceptable by the current administration, with the refusal of the Fourth of July fireworks display at Mount Rushmore. A perceived inequity that many may find perplexing.
In his own words, the scenario projected is as follows: ‘Life in Biden’s America: Want to stage a Gay Pride celebration in a national park? Go ahead! Aspire to have an Independence Day fireworks spectacle at Mount Rushmore? DENIED!’. This unfavorable depiction encapsulates the essence of the general sentiment of many conservatives.
This event marks the third consecutive time the proposal for a Mount Rushmore fireworks display during Independence Day celebrations has been negated. The show expected to light up the sky for the nation’s birth has been dimmed once again by bureaucratic decisions. A pattern forming an ominous cloud over future endeavors.
As the dust settles around another denied request, we, as observers, are left pondering. The event that stood as a beacon of American unity and pride has been quashed, based on cited concerns that resonate more with cultural appeasement than national celebration. The echoes of the denied fireworks will ring in the silent skies above Mount Rushmore this Fourth of July, symbolizing a broader ideological divide at play.
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