It's a tradition that can only be found in KOTA Territory: the 68th Annual Sunrise Service at Mount Rushmore.
This Easter's service is an annual event for some, and a very moving, once in a lifetime experience for others.
"They're excited that in this country we have the
privilege of a worship service right here at mount
Rushmore," says Pastor Chuck Landon. "They come here and go wow right here at mt Rushmore we
get to have a worship time even though we're so far from
And at this year's 68th Annual service the crowd,
according to Landon, is the largest he's seen, a possible
result of the mild temperatures.
"In the past we've had to shovel all the seats... we
didn't have to do that this year," says Landon.
"One year they had to clear snow so we all could
participate," says Connie Feekes from Rapid City.
But, this year, the crowd was able to focus on the
scenery and celebrate what is for many Christians the most meaningful holiday of the year.
"We often celebrate Christmas and of course that's the
birth of Jesus, but the resurrection of Jesus is what
gives vitality to Christian faith. We would not worship a
dead man," says Landon.
And to celebrate the special holiday at one of the most
patriotic monuments in the country, can be a very moving
"This is just a combination of faith in our country and
faith in God," says Feekes.
"The symbolism here is that in this country we have the
opportunity to worship publicly without restriction, in
a place that is really set aside as a shrine to
democracy," says Landon.