President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Saturday at the White House, where he announced the first round of historical figures to be included in the National Garden of American Heroes.
Trump’s remarks were made during his Salute to America celebration, which was created to pay respect to American military heroes and celebrate Independence Day. Trump said:
To celebrate America’s majestic inheritance, yesterday I signed an executive order to create a brand new monument to our most beloved icons. The National Garden of American Heroes will be a vast, outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans who have ever lived.
We will honor extraordinary citizens from every community, from every place, and from every part of our nation. Great men and great women. People that we can look up to forever. Families will be able to walk among the statues of titans.
President Trump announced the names of the “icons” who would receive statues first on Saturday, including: John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.
An executive order from President Trump, which implemented the plans to establish the National Garden of American Heroes on Friday, said that none of the figures featured in the Garden “will have lived perfect lives, but all will be worth honoring, remembering, and studying.”
The order also states:
To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance. These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn. My Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory.
On Friday, in South Dakota, President Trump claimed protesters were “determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.”