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August 29, 2013

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NORMAN — Psalm 19 begins with the words, “The heavens are telling the glory of God.” Those of us who are outdoor people might agree with that even today.

Certainly we know that the skies of Oklahoma have been filled with brilliance, with drama, with anger and certainly with absolute beauty this year. The skies also, when we study them a bit, continue connecting us with that awesome power of our creator and this journey we call “life.”

I hope you can say that your journey is taking you to some beautiful and inspiring places.

When I think of places that inspire me, I think of The Black Hills. Mount Rushmore comes quickly to mind, but there is another equally inspiring monument there, still being created, that also deserves our awareness: the Monument to Chief Crazy Horse.

Over two football fields wide, taller than the Washington Monument, Chief Crazy Horse’s head alone is large enough to hold all the 60-foot tall heads of the presidents carved out on Mount Rushmore in itself. The monument carving is a huge undertaking.

Korczak Ziolkowski was asked in 1939 by Chief Standing Bear of the Lakota to carve a monument honoring Native Americans, “so the white man would know the red man has great heroes, too.” Korczak, as he would from then on be referred to, accepted, beginning his work in 1947.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of tons of rock have been blasted from the mountain top and it is still a work in progress.

Korczak died in 1982 and the work is carried on today by his wife, Ruth, and seven of their children. It is supported through donations, and no tax dollars have ever been used. Thousands of people visit every year to be inspired by the care and dedication to the task this family continues to exhibit.

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