Rushmore's creator, John Borglum, held this vision. "Hence, let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the works of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away."
Borglum believed in addition to the carvings, their significance should be recorded on the mountain. Funds and time ran out for that endeavor, but there is a room carved behind the head of Abraham Lincoln to hold the history of the United States. (See more about this under the "RV Adventures" tab on this website, Day 9.)
The hope was to proclaim what the United States had been, should our union and civilization cease and only the faces be left. Sobering thought. It has happened to many great civilizations before us. With the increasing destructive onslaught against our democratic process, this idea does not seemed so far-fetched.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all of one thing or all the other."
"The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight; that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show, not only the capacity for sturdy self-help, but also self-respecting regard for the rights of others." Nov 11, 1902