Washington Monument

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 probably unaware they are even there.

These words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5 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, unnoticed 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!" [Laus is 'Praise be' and Deo means '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 its division into four major segments. From this vantage point one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant, was 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.

A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution.

Within the monument are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one pauses at the landings, the memorial stones share messages. 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.

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.

It is clear when one studies the history of our great nation, that America was established under the guidance of Almighty God, to whom was given all praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her pivotal foundations. 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. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. Psalm 127:1. Let us remember to do our part, through prayers and sacrifice, to be the watchmen who stand their guard.

It is hoped you will send this to everyone you can, especially the children in your life.