We were excited to hit our first National Park on this trip... Couldn’t wait to see the four presidential faces carved on the granite face of the mountain in the Black Hills. We got all caught up with a sense of patriotism, pride, and beauty of the place. We took pictures, bought T-shirt, socks, stickers from the visitor’s store, and proudly posted our pictures on FB. And then a friend responded with an article from National Geographic about Mt. Rushmore’s lurid past, controversial stolen land from the Lakota tribe, the man who was in charge of the project was a prominent member of the KKK, and of course the recent idiot president who wanted his face added to the mountain. Poop! That took the sail from our wind.

I guess that is the true beauty of being an American. We have to accept that good and the bad about ourselves and our past, clean up and atone for our past sins, find ways to move forward together as one. It’s a tall order. But I am proud to be an American, willing to look and be responsible for all facets of our impacts in the world.

This picture, this symbol inspired me the most from this place. Each of the four presidents had a word that represented what they stood for: Washington - Foundation; Jefferson - Expansion; Lincoln - Unification; Roosevelt - Preservation

It made me wonder what is the one word that will be said about the impact of my life?