2020 is our 10-year anniversary, and we were headed to Kauai with Kenzie to celebrate. Well, that’s been put on hold due to COVID-19. So instead, we grabbed the camper and headed out to explore South Dakota (and Wyoming).
While the entire trip was special to us, exploring Mount Rushmore, hiking around Devil’s Tower, the most memorable moment was at the Crazy Horse Memorial. The story behind the memorial is beautiful. In 1939, Chief Henry Standing Bear hired a Polish sculptor from Massachusetts to carve Crazy Horse’s likeness into a mountain. The sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, had worked on Mount Rushmore, but that was with an entire workforce. He knew that the Crazy Horse monument would be his life’s work, and that he would likely die before completion. But he understood what was being asked. Chief Standing Bear wanted this monument to show the world, “the Red Man has great heroes also.”
Since the passing of both Chief Henry Standing Bear and Korczak Ziolkowski, both families have carried on the work, and it’s a beautiful place to visit. While we were there, Kenzie and I were looking at turquoise rings. I wanted to get her something to commemorate this trip. While we were looking, an older woman running the counter pulled our clerk aside and said something. The clerk came back and said, “She would like to gift your daughter a ring.” I couldn’t believe it. And then another woman passed by, and that turned out to be one of Korczak’s granddaughters, and she also spent some time chatting with Mackenzie. This generosity, especially now, was so deeply impactful. I don’t know if Kenzie got the significance of the gift, but I sure did. I hope that piece, with its beautiful history, will be passed on for generations.