Mount Rushmore July 4 ceremony to ‘Celebrate America’
The Spirit of Liberty Foundation will present the inaugural “Celebrate America” ceremony on July 4 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota.
The ceremony will include the foundation’s iconic America’s Freedom Bell and the rare, original stone edition of the Declaration of Independence.
“A 4th of July celebration at a national shrine is the perfect opportunity to focus on what makes our country so special while simultaneously bringing us together,” said Richard Rovsek, chairman, Spirit of Liberty Foundation based in Rancho Santa Fe. “In these polarized times, we should all remember what unites us, makes us Americans, and pay tribute to the Declaration of Independence, which is our nation’s birth certificate.”
The “Celebrate America” ceremony will include the dramatic participation of leading Presidential re-enactors – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. These four presidential giants, sculpted on Mount Rushmore, represent the best traditions of American leadership. The re-enactors will sign their names on a large replica copy of the Declaration of Independence, a symbolic salute to this country’s democratic traditions.
An avid student of American history, Rovsek participated in America’s bicentennial in 1976 by creating President Gerald Ford’s personal gift to dignitaries. In recognition of the nation’s fast-approaching 250th anniversary celebration (in 2026), Rovsek is initiating a tradition of celebrating America’s birthday at historic sites throughout the country. He worked with the National Parks Service to obtain a permit for the event at Mount Rushmore.
“Our country is becoming more and more fragmented,” said Rovsek. “We thought it was important to our nation’s psyche to create ‘Celebrate America’ to bring the country together.”
The 4th of July event at Mount Rushmore begins at 6:45 a.m. local time. The celebration agenda will include the following:
• The Pledge of Allegiance
• The chaplain’s prayer
• Reading of the Declaration of Independence by 10 everyday American heroes – a veteran, police officer, firefighter, first responders, doctor, nurse, truck driver and teacher
• Recitation by Girl and Boy Scouts of the names of each of the 57 signers of the Declaration and the states they represented
• Ringing of the Freedom Bell by veterans of each branch of the military as signers’ names are read
• Recitation of the First Amendment, adopted in 1791, consecrating this nation’s solemn guarantee of freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Other special features will be incorporated into the ceremony, including statements from the leaders of all branches of the U.S. military. In addition, the “America’s Heroes Flag” will be unfurled at the ceremony. This includes all six flags from each military branch (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard) plus the National Guard Flag, and, importantly, the POW/MIA Flag, that will be sewn together to symbolically bring America together. This unique work of art features a collection of over 100 powerful images of U.S. Armed Forces from 1776 to the present date.
About the Spirit of Liberty Foundation
The Spirit of Liberty Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Rancho Santa Fe. It was originally formed to raise funds and assist in the restoration and maintenance of the Statue of Liberty as well as Ellis Island. After the restoration was completed, and as a result of 9/11, the Foundation’s mission was changed to enhance the meaning and importance of liberty. Visit spiritoflibertyfoundation.org. — Spirit of Liberty Foundation news release
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