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?

Second Prize: Adult Prose
Virginia Lautenschlager
Hot Springs, South Dakota
President Teddy Roosevelt Speaks from the Mountain

"America must regain her rightful place as a world leader---but not without nobility of character---and we don't see enough of that today.

"We need a Progressive Party to break the political monopoly. We need a Party for men and women with true character, with moral fiber, integrity and fortitude. We need voters who expect a candidate to be one of known character, courage and conviction.

"Allow me to read excerpts of what I said in 1910:
The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desireable chiefly as far as they lead to moral and material welfare of all citizens....capable of sound judgement and high ideals, active in public affairs---but, first of all, sound in homelife---just so far and no further, may we count our civilization a success.
We must have---I believe we have already---a genuine and permanent moral awakening, without which no wisdom of legislation or administration really means anything.

"On the brink of the 21st Century, America must recognize the need for a similar moral renewal---for each generation. I believe there is already just such a movement spreading across America. Therein is true progress for mankind. It is the only future hope for civilization.

"Thank you for your attention."