1999 Mount Rushmore
International Writing Contest
Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln:
Presidents with Visions for America

If they could speak today,
what might they say?

1st Place Winner: Adult Poetry
Stephen N. Schilt
Tacoma, Washington

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt
Beyond Stone Faces

Through eyes of stone we gaze afar
from mountain side as crowds appear,
wondering why they travel far
to view our silent image here.

Is sculptures hand the only draw,
to see a feat of carving stone,
to stand and stare and that is all?
Faces frozen fast in stone.

Or might they seek a tribute here,
to honor heros of the past?
But others fought for freedom dear
giving life to make it last.

Do they seek some better time,
when others died for cause, not hate,
returning nation to it's prime?
As though stone faces hold this fate.

Would that we could break the silence,
urging all who come this way.
A nation's fate is in the balance
none from freedom's cause can stray.

Will each respond with quiet pause
to questions asked by liberty:
"Am I friend for freedom's cause,
or foe through quiet apathy?"

When freedom calls will each respond,
for this is not our cause alone.
May mountain's face inspire beyond
these silent sentinels of stone.