President Trump on the eve of Independence Day unveiled an executive order he will be signing to establish the “National Garden of American Heroes,” a “vast outdoor park” that will feature statues of the “greatest Americans who ever lived.”
Trump made the announcement during a Fourth of July celebration at the iconic Mount Rushmore.
“Today, under the authority vested in me as President of the United States, I am announcing the creation of a new monument to the giants of our past,” Trump said towards the end of his speech. “I am signing an executive order to establish the National Garden of American heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.”
The text of the executive order was released by the White House minutes after Trump spoke, establishes the creation of a Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes. The Task Force, chaired by the Secretary of the Interior will have 60 days to submit a report proposing options for the creation as well as listing potential locations for the site.
“These statues are silent teachers in solid form of stone and metal. They preserve the memory of our American story and stir in us a spirit of responsibility for the chapters yet unwritten,” the purpose of the executive order reads. “These works of art call forth gratitude for the accomplishments and sacrifices of our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation. These monuments express our noblest ideals — respect for our ancestors, love of freedom, and striving for a more perfect union.”
The National Garden will include statues that depict “historically significant Americans” that have “contributed positively to America throughout our history.” Per the order, the term “historically significant American” is defined as an “individual who was, or became, an American citizen and was a public figure who made substantive contributions to America’s public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America’s history.”
In the order, 31 historical figures will be memorialized in the garden composed of statues commemorating several former presidents, distinguished figures, including Davy Crockett, Amelia Earhart, Billy Graham, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King Jr., among others.
The statues will be created “lifelike or realistic representations of the persons they depict, not abstract or modernist representations” and the ideal location where the statues will reside should be on a site of “natural beauty” and “proximate to at least one major population center” that will not “cause significant disruption” to the community.
The order stipulates that the site of the National Garden to be opened for public access by no later than July 4, 2026, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence.