Count on Kristi Noem to cheapen the Ukrainian war for her most petty political posturing.
In his stirring speech to Congress yesterday calling America to do all it can to defend Ukraine and global human rights from Russian aggression, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned Mount Rushmore and said that Ukrainians want the same ideals of “democracy, independence, freedom” that the founders sculpted thereupon build here in America.
Governor Noem co-opted that noble declaration into more whining for fireworks:
On Monday, the Department of Interior denied the Governor’s request to shoot rockets around the monument this July 4, saying pyrotechnics in the dry forest still aren’t a good idea:
In a letter dated Monday from the U.S. Department of Interior, Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Michelle Wheatley said a fireworks event would not be “safe and responsible.”
…In the letter to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, Wheatley noted the March 2021 wildfire that closed the memorial for three days.
“Current drought conditions and the 2022 wildfire outlook indicate that fireworks would cause a high likelihood of a wildfire ignition,” she wrote.
Local Native American tribes objected to the celebration being held on land they hold as sacred.
“There is ample documented opposition for the Tribes to the 2020 event, and we understand from ongoing meetings with the Tribes that these concerns have not diminished.” the letter stated [“Feds Once Again Nix Noem’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Event,” AP, 2022.03.15].
The Ukrainians don’t need fireworks over Mount Rushmore. Noem should try translating her obsession with rockets into more vocal support for sending real rockets to Ukraine to help President Zelenskyy shoot down the Russian rockets that pose real threats to their lives and liberties.