PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Yesterday, Governor Kristi Noem filed an initial brief in her appeal in the Mount Rushmore Fireworks litigation. The brief was filed with the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. You can read the filed brief here.
“The Biden Administration cancelled South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration on completely arbitrary grounds. They’ve displayed their hypocrisy on this issue time and time again,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We are appealing the District Court’s incorrect decision so that we can return the Fireworks Celebration to Mount Rushmore and honor our nation’s birthday at America’s Shrine to Democracy for next year and in the future.”
Previously, Governor Noem asked President Biden to uphold the Memorandum of Agreement between NPS and the State of South Dakota regarding the Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration. Governor Noem responded to NPS’s reasons for cancelling the fireworks celebration. She also outlined the due diligence that the State of South Dakota and other entities undertook to ensure that last year’s celebration could be conducted safely and responsibly. You can read Governor Noem’s initial letter to President Biden here.
Following the Biden Administration’s announcement of fireworks in Washington D.C., which included an invitation to states “to join us by hosting your own events to honor our freedom, salute those who have been serving on the frontlines, and celebrate our progress in fighting this pandemic,” Governor Noem asked President Biden to intervene and allow the planned fireworks to go forward. You can find that subsequent letter to President Biden here.
America’s Founding Fathers knew that Independence Day should be celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one [e]nd of this Continent to the other,” as stated by John Adams on July 3, 1776. And President Calvin Coolidge declared that Mount Rushmore was designed to be “a national shrine to which future generations will repair to declare their continuing allegiance to independence [and] self-government.”
Last year’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration was held safely and responsibly and had a huge positive impact on the South Dakota economy. You can find materials such as photographs and video of the 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration here.