1998 Mount Rushmore
International Writing Contest
Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln:
Presidents with Visions for America

If they could speak today,
what might they say?

Children's Second Prize
Amanda Johnson
Rapid City, South Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt: Don't Give Up.

When Theodore Roosevelt was young he suffered from asthma, but he did not let that stop him. Once when he was by himself on a trip to Maine he was tormented by two boys. He felt ashamed that he wasn't strong enough to fight back.

He wouldn't accept his weakness, instead he used it to push himself to be better. His father built him a gym in their home. Theodore exercised regularly and eventually overcame his athsma and built up above average physical strength.

I think Theodore would want our school system to accept less things and push more things to be better. He would want us not to just accept that many kids can't work at a faster pace or that they can't learn things more in depth, but to encourage them to do so from day one.

I think he would be glad that doctors and scientists don't just accept that a disease is incurable or unbeatable. They often work towards curing it and beating it.

I think he wanted people to not just accept their weaknesses, but to work towards being a better person, whether that means just being nicer to people or building better physical strength.