When learning about American history, students from a very young age learn only the basics. They learn about the corageous George Washington who fought for the new nation. They learn about the always honest Abraham Lincoln. Somehow, however, the story is always told to favor the white man. There is a great deal more to the history of America than the "discovery" of the new world. This includes the story of those men that worked the lands of America before the age of exploration. The Native Americans were these men.
This summer, my family and I went on a road trip though the Northern Mid-Western states of America. We visited many places and saw many amazing things. None however was nearly as amazing as the Crazy Horse Memorial that lays carved into the side of the sacred Black Hills in South Dakota. Much like Mount Rushmore (which we also visited and enjoyed), the face carved into the granite hill stands as a reminder of a hero in the American past. Crazy Horse was a valiant warrior during the time of settlement in the West. He fought to defend his land, his religion and his people. Much like the leaders of our young country, Crazy Horse deserves to be forever remembered.
The Crazy Horse Memorial still has a long way to go before it is finished however. To this day, the project remains completely publically funded. It is more about the integrity of the monument than the speed that it is finished. Many men have put their heart and soul into the project, none more than Korczak Ziolkowski however, who was the original sculptor. Standing at the foot of the mountain, looking up at the huge face of this statue, one must only think about how strong and brave a man in his position must have been. This memorial is an important part of our history. The face towers over the land of the Black Hills gazing down on the land that once belonged to his people. The whole Mount Rushmore fits in the space behind his head! Seeing it was mesmerizing. My family and I visited many other places on our trip too. It was comforting that every night we could return to our Comfort Inn branch hotel when we were exhausted from the day's adventures. When we flew home on our Jet Blue airplane, I was sad to leave such a wonderful place. I hope that everyone has a chance to visit the memorial in his or her lifetime.
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