- The Washington Times - Friday, March 12, 2021

“Honest Abe” and fellow giants of American history will spend this Fourth of July in the dark.

A request to host a July 4 fireworks display at Mount Rushmore has been denied by The National Park Service (NPS), The Hill first reported.

“Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event,” NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost wrote in a letter to the head of South Dakota’s tourism department. “In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial.”

Mr. Frost added that health concerns over COVID-19 were also at play.

“These factors, compiled with the COVID-19 pandemic, do not allow a safe and responsible fireworks display to be held at this site,” he wrote. “[It’s] only prudent to make plans based on the best available science and public health guidance available today.”

The news comes less than 24 hours after President Biden’s warning to Americans that Fourth of July gatherings may be too risky due to the global pandemic.

“I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity,” Mr. Biden said from the East Room of the White House. “And to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well. … If we do this together, by July the 4th, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. That doesn’t mean large events with lots of people together but it does mean small groups will be able to get together. … On July 4th, with your loved ones, is the goal. But a goal, a lot can happen. Conditions can change.”

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