Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Faces of Stone

South Dakota welcomed us with steely gray rocks holding fast against a clear blue sky
It was the rocks we had come to see but not just any rocks.
There, before us were rocks formed by the pressure of time and by geological upheaval.

They were nice.  In fact I liked them alot but the rocks we came to see this day were shaped by man or rather by many men following the dream of one.
As a teaser to the main day's characters, an American Indian sprang forth from solid rock.
The Oglala Indian, Crazy Horse, would soon have his arm extended over the back of his racing horse. Korczak Ziolkowski, the polish sculptor began work on Crazy Horse in 1948 when Lakota Chief, Standing Bear, commissioned the likeness.  Since Ziolkowski's death, his children have carried on his work.
Bit by bit, rock is changing shape, not by erosion of wind and water but by the work of carvers coaxing an image out of the mountainside.
While is is interesting seeing such a work in progress with it's potential greatness, it was these guys,  below, we had actually come to see.

Gutzon Borglum chose Mount Rushmore for his sculpture because of its height, the type of rock there and the fact that for most of the day, the face of the mountain is bathed in sunlight. The project began in August of 1927 and took fourteen years to complete though about half that time was spent on securing the needed funds to complete the carving. Four men were chosen for what each represented about our country . . . .

. . .  George Washington represents our struggle for independence,

Thomas Jefferson represents the idea of a government chosen by its people.

The image of Theodore Roosevelt stands for our country's twentieth century role in world affairs,

while Abraham Lincoln's image stands for his ideas on equality and the struggle to preserve a union of the states.
Four individual men who became part of Borglum's image of America, a country where our constitution, strives tomake all people equal,  people residing in states united as one large country . . .

. . . but not so large that it forgets the rights of individuals, no matter how small or weak,

people far from perfect but still working toward their dreams . . .

. . .  dreams bigger than mountains, wider than any horizon
and as varied as its landscape.

Together we are a mishmash of colors, shapes, successes and failures all thrown together in a large bucket, shaken and stirred then poured out in the shape known to us and to the world as 
 The United States of America.

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