Noem sues Biden administration over Fourth of July fireworks

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 11:56 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Governor Kristi Noem sent out on Friday a series of tweets responding to the Biden administration’s decision to ignore her request for the allowance of South Dakota’s traditional Fourth of July fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.

On April, 13, Noem initially tweeted a request for the president to overturn his reneged promise that this year on the Fourth of July, the Rushmore fireworks could be take place as scheduled. “There is a long history of celebrations of American independence at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, including fireworks displays from 1998 to 2009 and again in 2020,” she said.

“This year, as we mark our independence from this virus, Mount Rushmore would be a perfect place for a national celebration and fireworks show,” Noem added. She pointed to Biden’s recent comments aiming to allow small gatherings in a victory against the virus on Independence Day, concluding that “We are committed to hosting a Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration that is safe and responsible and working closely with NPS to do so. I respectfully ask that you continue that hopeful message you shared earlier this month and uphold our Agreement to host the event this year.”

Biden did not respond to the Governor’s request.

Today Noem spoke out again with her intentions to sue the Biden administration for their lack of integrity in keeping their promise and the President’s refusal to speak on the issue. “Mount Rushmore is the very best place to celebrate America’s birthday and all that makes our country special. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration cancelled our Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration. So we’re suing them to get the fireworks back,” she said.

“After telling us they’d ‘circle back, the Biden Administration has not responded to our request to uphold the Memorandum of Agreement between the State of South Dakota and the National Parks Service to host a safe and responsible national celebration and fireworks show,” she continued.

The Governor concluded in a final tweet, saying “Unfortunately, the new administration departed from precedent and reneged on this agreement without any meaningful explanation. We’re asking the court to enjoin Interior’s denial of the fireworks permit and order it to issue a permit for the event expeditiously.”

Responses to Noem’s tweets ranged from adulation and praise to condemnation and disapproval. Twitter user @James77590234 responded, “What kind of person cancels the Fourth of July… this cancel culture is totally out of control.” @BoregoBernie chimed in “Damn straight. If the NFL can gather thousands for an event that artificially accommodates fans, it is shameful that @potus is barring celebration of the nation’s founding.” @clefantom1 asked simply, “Just do it anyway. What are they going to do?” On the other side of the spectrum @Gadfly commented, “What a ridiculous waste of time and money: The Kristi Noem Story,” and @DavidBe70 questioned, “Forest fire prevention and environmental damage aren’t meaningful?”

The outcome of Governor Noem’s lawsuit, the response of the Biden administration, and the fate of our fireworks remains to be seen.

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