On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington DC, are displayed two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less.
Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this with everyone you know. But these words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.
Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, un-noticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world.
So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say "Praise be to God!" Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo .......... ......"Praise be to God!"
From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with it's division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant...a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the North. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the West.
Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God!
When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy ...."One Nation, Under God."
I am awed by Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well, now is your unique opportunity, so read on!
"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo", it's location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning, or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." (Psalm 127: 1)
It is hoped you will send this to every child you know; to every sister, brother, father, mother or friend. They will not find offense, because you have given them a lesson in history that they probably never learned in school. With that, be not ashamed, or afraid, but have pity on those who will never see.
God bless the U S A !!
Authur Unknown ~ Please email us if you know who wrote this wonderful article.
At 555 feet 5 1/8 inches (169.29 meters) high, the Washington Monument towers over everything in Washington, DC and is one of the tallest masonry structures in the world. Fifty flags surround the base of the Washington Monument and symbolize the 50 states of the Union. If you take the elevator to the pyramid top, windows in the observation room offer views of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Capitol building.
On the 140-foot landing of the monument, a memorial stone is inscribed with a prayer from the city of Baltimore. It reads "May Heaven to this union continue its beneficence; may brotherly affection with union be perpetual; may the free constitution which is the work of our ancestors be sacredly maintained and its administration be stamped with wisdom and with virtue."
On the 260-foot landing of the Washington Monument memorial stones quote Proverbs 10:7, Proverb 22:6, and Luke 17:6. These stones were presented by Sunday school children from New York and Philadelphia.
NOTE: Robert Mills' original design for the monument was greatly altered in the course of construction and the present monument has little in common with Mills' elaborate plan. His design, a combination of Greek and Egyptian architecture, called for a 600 foot obelisk centered on a circular colonnaded pantheon, 250 feet in diameter and 100 feet high. It was to have 30 spaces set aside between the columns to eventually be filled with statues of prominent Americans, and over the entrance was to be a toga-clad Washington driving a triumphal chariot.
The cornerstone for the monument was laid on July 4, 1848, within the cornerstone rests the Holy Bible, presented by the Bible Society. The monument was opened to the public on October 9, 1888. In total, there are 36,491 stones. Inserted into the interior walls of the monument are 188 carved stones presented by individuals, societies, cities, states, and nations of the world.
Did you know that there is a "ring" around the monument? Due to several setbacks, the monument stood incomplete at the height of about 150 feet for 25 years. Work resumed in 1880; however, the new marble stones came from a different quarry than the original. There is a discoloration on the outside of the obelisk that clearly marks the older structure from the later one, even though it is the same kind of marble. Since the marble came from three different quarries, it was impossible to match the later marble to the older perfectly.
Bible verses are etched in stone all over the federal buildings and monuments throughout Washington D.C.
John Jay, who was the very first Supreme Court Justice said "Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers."
Fifty-two of the fifty-five founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.
Thomas Jefferson worried that the courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law - an oligarchy, the rule of few over many.
(Did You Know was found in the book "Under God" by Toby Mac and Michael Tait)