“LAUS DEO”

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.

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.

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.

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 to the south, the Capitol to the east, and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings.

  • 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.’