President Donald Trump will hold an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore on Friday evening.
A fireworks show will follow Trump’s remarks.
Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) have been ripped for not requiring masks and social distancing at the event. Activists are also protesting the existence of Mount Rushmore, saying it was built on stolen land by a KKK sympathizer, and warning that the fireworks show (the first since 2009) could cause wildfires.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates. All times eastern.
11:35 PM: Trump says that centuries later, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good that we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all. Crowd chants “USA!” again.
11:30 PM: Trump says he is signing an Executive Order to establish the National Garden of American Heroes that will feature statues of the greatest Americans who have ever lived. he says it will be a “new monument to the giants of our past.”
11:23 PM: Trump says it is “time to plant our flag” to “protect our history, heritage, and our great heroes.”
11:18 PM: Trump now says we will never abolish the police or the Second Amendment. He says children should be taught to honor our history and respect the great American flag. He says “we only kneel to Almighty God. This is who we are. This is what we believe.”
Trump says those who seek to erase our heritage want to dissolve the bonds of loyalty that we feel for each other and the country. He says their goal is to “end America.” He says in its place “they want power for themselves.”
He says the American people “will stand in their way” and “win quickly… with great dignity.”
11:15 PM: After saying Americans will not be silenced by the left (“They want to silence us. But we will not be silenced.”), Trump says we will not apologize for American being “the most just and exceptional” nation to ever exist on the face of the earth that was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles.”
Trump talks about the American family being the “bedrock of American life.”
“We want free and open debate,” Trump says. “Not speech codes and cancel culture.”
Trump says the “social justice” activists only “demolish” justice and society. He says they will use justice as an instrument of division and vengeance.
11:12 PM: Trump now speaking about Teddy Roosevelt and his “Roughriders” at the Battle of San Juan Hill. He says Roosevelt gave us many of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon, and oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal. He says he sent the Navy around the world to announce America’s arrival as a great naval power.
He says TR was American freedom personified.
11:10 PM: Trump calls Lincoln “the savior of our union.” He lists his accomplishments like the Homestead Act and the transcontinental railroad while leading the country through the “darkest hours of American history.” He talks about Lincoln winning the Civil War, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, and abolishing slavery via the 13th Amendment.
11:09 PM: Trump speaking up Jefferson’s accomplishments, including the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.” Trump says Jefferson will also never be abandoned.
11:07 PM: After talking about George Washington choosing not to be a king, Trump says King George called Washington the greatest man of the age, and that is why he remains first in our hearts to this day.
11:05 PM: Trump says children are being taught to hate our country and believe that the Founders are “villains.”
10:57 PM: Trump now rips “cancel culture” (“alien to our country) as “totalitarianism.” He says this “attack” on liberty must be stopped, and this “dangerous movement” will be exposed and preserve “our beloved way of life.” He says there is a “new far-left fascism” in schools, newsrooms, and even corporate boardrooms. He says you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, and punished if you do not partake in the “left-wing cultural revolution” that is trying to overthrow the American revolution that lifted humanity to new heights of discovery and progress. He says if you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, or follows its commandments, you will be punished. But Trump says “it’s not going to happen to us.”
He says that is why he is going to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
10:54 PM: Trump says 1776 was the culmination of thousands of years of Western Civilization.
He says there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing that our ancestors fought so hard for.
He says the nation is witnessing a mercilessly campaign to wipe out history, defame heroes, and indoctrinate children.
Trump says angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.
Trump says most have no idea what they are doing but some people no exactly what they are doing. He says they think the American people are soft and submissive but the American people will not allow their history and culture to be taken from them.
10:51 PM: Trump wishes everyone a happy Independence Day. He thanks the doctors working hard to “kill the virus.” He now thanks the state’s Congressional delegation. He says there is no better place to celebrate American Independence than below the “magnificent” Mount Rushmore.
He says he is here to proclaim: “This monument will never be desecrated. These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never ever be destroyed.” He says their achievements will never be erased before saying, “Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.”
Trump says no nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America.
10:50 PM: Trump finally takes the stage to deliver his remarks.
10:40 PM: Noem says there has been an organized campaign to “wipe away the lessons of history” to “discredit America’s founding principles.”
She also notes that America could have had a king after the British defeat but instead got a man who walked away from his position as commader-in-chief” and then walked away from the presidency. She then reads Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.”
10:30 PM: Gov. Noem speaks first. Loud cheers when Noem asks who is visiting the state for the first time. She welcomes home the 174th Cyber Protection Unit (involved in Operation Enduring Freedom).
10:15 PM: Trump and First Lady Melania Trump take the stage for the playing of the national anthem. South Dakota native Mary Hart is the emcee.
9:45 PM: At the top of the hour, Trump is expected to deliver remarks that “will tell the truth about America’s history” and go after the “left-wing mob.” Trump has landed at Mount Rushmore.
Protests before Trump arrival:
Tribal Leaders Want Mount Rushmore Removed: