South Dakotas governor said Mount Rushmore will be protected as statues and monuments are defaced and attacked across the nation.
Mount Rushmore shows the faces of former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Statues featuring Washington and Jefferson have been toppled in recent days, while New York City officials are removing a statue of Roosevelt and protesters in Washington, D.C. push to remove a memorial to Lincoln.
After a pundit wondered whether Mount Rushmore would be targeted next, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem replied, “Not on my watch.”
Noem, a Republican, made the vow on social media platform Twitter.
An official in Noems office told The Epoch Times that he couldnt get into specifics on security measures, especially as the state prepares to welcome President Donald Trump to a fireworks show slated to take place at Mount Rushmore.
But he pointed to comments made by some social media users referring to the national monument as the “final boss” of monument and statue defacing.
The phrase refers to the typical progression in many video games. Gamers battle their way through various stages before theyre met with a boss thats extremely hard to beat.
The official described the users as leftist activists. There are some posts referring to Mount Rushmore as the “final boss” but a review of the users social media accounts didnt show clear links to activist organizations.
The review did show many of the users sharing the phrase have in the past expressed virulent anti-police messaging. Some called for abolishing the police and prisons, a call thats being made by Black Lives Matter activists.
Trump, a Republican, said Tuesday he has authorized the federal government through an executive order to arrest any person who vandalizes or destroys a monument or other federal property.
Wrongdoers will face up to 10 years in prison, Trump said, pointing to the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act and other related laws.