Noem asks Biden to uphold fireworks agreement

Fireworks light the sky at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Friday, July 3, 2020, near...
((AP Photo/Alex Brandon) | Associated Press)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 12:43 PM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - In an bid to reverse the National Parks Service’s (NPS) decision to cancel this summer’s fireworks at Mount Rushmore, Governor Kristi Noem sent President Joe Biden a letter advocating for the fireworks Celebration on the Fourth of July. The Governor asked the President for a reversal of last month’s decision which reneged on an agreement with the State to allow fireworks at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Noem pointed to statements made by the President this past March in which he voiced his intentions to see the Fourth of July, not just as a marker of our independence as a nation, but as a target date to mark our independence from the COVID-19 pandemic that has held much of our Country hostage for more than a year.

“This year, as we mark our independence from [COVID-19], Mount Rushmore would be the perfect place for a national celebration and fireworks show,” wrote Noem.

“We are committed to hosting a Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration that is safe and responsible and working closely with the National Parks Service (NPS) to do so. I respectfully ask that you continue the hopeful message you shared earlier this year and uphold our Agreement to host the event this year,” continued the Governor.

Noem cited South Dakota’s swift rate of vaccinations, the State’s Department of Tribal Relations role in including Native American-led programming at the event, and her commitment to upholding the State’s ongoing promise to factor environmental safety and potential hazards into the final decision to set off any fireworks on the holiday. She reiterated her dedication to host a safe and responsible holiday display and she promised to work closely with the National Parks Service at all levels of planning the event.

Biden has not yet responded.

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