Laus Deo

12/16/05

LAUS DEO:

I thought that you and others may like to see this. One detail that
is not mentioned, in DC, is that there can never be a building of
greater height than the Washington Monument.

With all the uproar about removing the ten commandments, etc… This
is worth a moment or two of your time. I was not aware of this
historical information.

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 top 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!”

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 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.

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. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt,
intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice.

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. Amen.”

Laus Deo!

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”, its
location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able
to forget its 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)

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