As one of his last acts in office, President Trump has ordered the building of a monument garden to include scores — upon scores — of statues of “American heroes.”
Figures for the garden are far-reaching, ranging from Muhammad Ali and Annie Oakley to Jesse Owens and Rosa Parks to Walt Disney, and not to mention Grover Cleveland, Alex Trebek and… Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus, who has been criticized for his abuse of indigenous Americans.
John Adams is also featured, though John Quincy Adams is not.
It’s unclear how the expansive list was compiled or who compiled it but, according to the “Executive Order on Building the National Garden of American Heroes” issued Monday morning, it’s “America’s answer to this reckless attempt to erase our heroes, values, and entire way of life.”
“On its grounds, the devastation and discord of the moment will be overcome with abiding love of country and lasting patriotism,” Trump’s executive order states. “This is the American way. When the forces of anti-Americanism have sought to burn, tear down, and destroy, patriots have built, rebuilt, and lifted up. That is our history. America responded to the razing of the White House by building it back in the same place with unbroken resolve, to the murders of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., with a national temple and the Stone of Hope, and to the terrorism of 9/11 with a new Freedom Tower.
“In keeping with this tradition, America is responding to the tragic toppling of monuments to our founding generation and the giants of our past by commencing a new national project for their restoration, veneration, and celebration.”
You can read the White House’s statement, along with the list of honorees, here.