‘Not on my watch’: South Dakota governor vows to defend Mount Rushmore

by WorldTribune Staff, June 24, 2020

The leftist mob will not get to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota’s governor has vowed.

“Not on my watch,” Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, said in response to a question regarding the possibility of the rioters targeting the famed sculpture featuring Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

All of the presidents featured on Mount Rushmore have been subject to the leftist mob’s wrath over the last month. / Wikimedia Commons

“This is no longer about equality,” Noem told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “This is a radical rewriting of our history and in South Dakota we won’t stand for it.”

Noem added: “The more we focus on the flaws of these men that are on our mountain, the less likely we are to recognize the virtues and the lessons we can learn from their lives. We will make sure that Mount Rushmore stays as majestic as it is today.”

President Donald Trump said he will sign an executive order by the end of the week that would protect public statues and federal monuments and make vandalizing or any destruction to them punishable by jail time.

“We are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists, and agitators,” Trump said. “They’re bad people. They don’t love our country, and they’re not taking down our monuments.”

All of the presidents featured on Mount Rushmore have been subject to the leftist mob’s wrath over the last month.

A statue of Washington was toppled and draped in a burning American flag in Portland, Oregon, last week. Vandals tagged the structure and its base with the words “Murder,” “BLM,” and “F— Cops.”

A statue of Jefferson was torn down last week outside of a high school in Portland.

Two elementary schools in Berkeley, California — named after the two founding fathers — recently announced they will change their names to better support the Black Lives Matter movement.

In New York City, Roosevelt’s statue will be removed from the American Museum of Natural History, with Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio calling it a “problematic statue.”

Protesters have also vandalized the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Activists in Boston are demanding the removal of the Emancipation Memorial, featuring Lincoln and a freed slave, because “they find the depiction of an emancipated slave in the sculpture to be offensive,” as Breitbart News detailed.

“This whole conversation has changed,” Noem told Fox News. “It’s gone away from equality and it’s a radical movement that’s rewriting our history, that will take away all the lessons that we want to teach our kids and our grandkids.”

She said that Washington “was a unifier. He brought this country together to lead us at a time when we needed the birth of the nation to get started.”

She pointed out that Jefferson “was an author of the Declaration of Independence,” which noted that all men are created equal.

“[Theodore] Roosevelt was the first man to dine with an African-American at the White House,” she continued.

Noem acknowledged that “these men have flaws” and that “every leader has flaws,” but added that “we’re missing the opportunity we have in this discussion to talk about the virtues and what they brought to this country and the fact that this is a foundation that we’re built on and the heritage we should be carrying forward.”

On Monday, protesters in D.C. attempted to topple the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square but were stopped by police.

Trump tweeted on June 23: “I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statute or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.”

“This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused,” Trump continued. “There will be no exceptions!”

On Tuesday, rioters vandalized and toppled a statue in Madison, Wisconsin of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an immigrant from Norway who died fighting for the Union against slavery.

The statue was decapitated and thrown into a nearby lake.

The Wisconsin Historical Society describes Col. Heg as follows:

Heg migrated to the United States from Norway as a child in 1840 and spent his youth at Muskego, in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. As a young man he went to California in the Gold Rush and stayed from 1849-1851. He returned to Wisconsin in 1851 following the death of his parents in order to care for his younger siblings and manage the family farm.

In the fall of 1861 a new Scandinavian regiment was recruited and Heg accepted appointment as its colonel. The 15th Wisconsin Infantry, made up largely of recent immigrants, went into training at Camp Randall in December and left for the South on March 2, 1862.

On December 30, 1862, at the battle of Stones River, Heg’s regiment lost more than 100 men. His horse was shot out from under him and his general called him “the bravest of the brave.” In February 1863 Heg was put in command of the entire brigade and pursued retreating Confederate troops through Tennessee, briefly into Alabama, and across the state line to Chickamauga, Georgia.

On the afternoon of September 19, 1863, Heg was charging forward at the front of his troops when he was shot in the abdomen. He managed to stay in the saddle for a short time, but loss of blood compelled him to leave the field and move to a hospital behind the lines where he died the next morning.

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