Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Washington Monument and Laus Deo: Praise be to God!

These days have been anxious ones for our Nation and it is good for us to return to our roots: Our faith in God! The following comes from an email I received from my Uncle Johnny. It is really amazing and well worth reading! God bless America!

One detail that is never mentioned is that in Washington , D.C. 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 amazing historical information. On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington , D.C. , 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. 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, 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 ever 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)

2 comments:

Steve Savage "King of the Beasts" said...

The words quoted in the example above are inscribed on a bronze tablet adjoining the Washington pew in St. Paul's chapel in New York City, but they are not "Washington's prayer for America." They are taken from the last paragraph of a circular letter dated 8 June 1783, addressed to the governors of the thirteen states by General Washington upon his disbanding of the Continental Army at the end of the Revolutionary War. There are three significant problems with the version of the words presented in the example cited at the head of this page, however: They weren't written by Washington, they weren't a prayer, and they have been substantially modified from the original.

The letter from which the "prayer" passage was taken was written not by George Washington, but by his aide de camp, David Cobb. (How much of the letter reflected Washington's own thoughts and how much of it was created by Cobb — is unknown, but the style is very much unlike Washington's typical writings.) The passage was not written as a stand-alone statement, but rather was merely the concluding paragraph of a considerably longer letter. And finally, the wording has been altered to make the passage appear to be a prayer addressed to Almighty God, when in fact it was a direct statement from Washington to a governor.

Compare the original and modified versions:
ORIGINAL:

Now I make it my earnest prayer that God would have you and the State over which you preside, in His holy protection, that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens and the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field, and finally, that He would 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 an humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. I have the honor to be, with much esteem and respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant. George Washington.

MODIFIED:

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.
(Note that nowhere in George Washington's extant writings did he ever refer to Jesus Christ by name.)
# It is clear when one studies the history of our great nation that Washington's America was one of the few countries in all the world established under the guidance, direction and banner of Almighty God, to whom was given all praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her pivotal foundations. And when one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol ... one will easily find the signature of God.
One last point to clear up a misleading impression one might form after reading the above paragraph: although many of the inscriptions associated with the Washington Monument do indeed include religious references and sentiments, they reflect the tenor of public thought in mid-19th century America, not the America of George Washington's time. Washington died in 1799, and the country he helped found was a very different place half a century later.

Steve Savage "King of the Beasts"
http://sskotb.blogspot.com/

Celt said...

“Laus Deo” is no longer visible, of course. And there is the controversy…..
However another fact is the following… The Anti- Catholic sentiment that is part of the structure's building history. Read below: Check it out. It is an shameful fact. Gift stone of the Vatican thrown into the Potomac when it arrived.

The Washington National Monument was not completed until 1884--- 30 years after the death of its architect, Robert Mills. The reasons for the long delay: funding money ran out several times; the Civil War broke out, disrupting all Washington DC construction; and the “Know-Nothing Party” took over the construction project.

Who are the Know-Nothings? Also known as the American Party, the Know-Nothings were a nativist, political party established in the 1850's. They spouted an anti-immigrant and, in particular, anti-Catholic platform, believing yet one more conspiracy theory, this one accusing the Roman Pope and the rapidly growing Irish Catholic immigrant population of attempting to take over the United States.

The supposed origin of their nickname "Know-nothing" was that if a member of this semi-secret organization, when asked about it, replied "I know nothing."

And what did the Know-Nothings have to do with the Washington Monument? When the Monument Committee ran out of funding, as they had before, they solicited money for inscribed stone blocks from donors that included American states, Indian tribes, foreign countries, and Pope Pius IX. The Vatican's marble block contribution, also known as "The Pope Stone", enraged the Know-Nothings to the point where they stole and then destroyed it. Some believe that the marble block was either smashed into pieces or dumped into the Potomac River.The stone was never found!