Significance of the George Washington and the Washington Monument-Mostly
Summary of the eRumor
The eRumor describes some
of the inscriptions and design of the Washington Monument in
Washington D.C. in light of controversy over references to God in
This one's got many statements in it,
so let's take them one by one.
The words "Laus Deo" on the cap of the monument-Truth! There is an aluminum point
crowning the apex of the monument. There are four sides, each facing a point of the compass. According to the National Park Service, the north side lists the
members of the joint commission that was in charge of the Washington
monument project. The west side lists the dates of the laying of the cornerstone, the
first stone laid at the height of 152 fee, and the the setting of
the capstone. The south side lists the names of chief engineer, the architect, and
some of the workmen. The east side simply has the words "Laus Deo" which is
translated as "Praise be to God."
Washington DC was laid out
to be in the design of a cross-Fiction! It seems to be in the form
of a cross, but there's no evidence that was the intent of the
designer, architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant. If one sees the layout of White House, the Jefferson Memorial, the
Capitol, and The Lincoln Memorial as the intended cross, it was not
in the mind of Charles L'Enfant because he proposed the original
design in 1791, which was long before it was decided that the
Lincoln and Jefferson memorials would be built and where (1911 and
On the 12th Landing is a
prayer offered by the City of Baltimore-Truth! There is a memorial stone
in the wall at the 140-foot level with the following blessing: "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
virtue." On the 20th landing is a memorial presented by some Chinese
Christians-Truth! It is from Christians from
the port city of Ningpo, Chekiang Province, Mainland China and is a
eulogy to George Washington.
the 24th landing a presentation made by Sunday School children from
New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and
Proverbs 22:6.-Truth! The memorial says it is
presented by the Sunday Schools of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
New York and from the Sabbath School children of the Methodist
Episcopal church in Philadelphia. It then says "A
preached Gospel" and "A free press" then closes with
"Washington, we revere his memory."
The inscriptions include the Bible reference Proverbs 10:7. There is also an open bible on the monument that includes Luke 18:16
where Jesus said "Suffer the little children to come unto
me" and Proverbs 22:6, which says "Train up a child in the
way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
When the cornerstone was laid, one of the items in it was a
Bible-Truth! Several dozen items were placed into the monument at the laying
of the cornerstone including, according to the National Park
Service, a copy of the Bible presented by The Bible Society.
Washington's Prayer for America-Truth!
This is an interesting
This "prayer of
Washington" is widely circulated and reflects his true wishes
about the United States because the bulk of it comes from his own
There is a certain lack of integrity with the prayer, however, in
that he never really formally prayed it in the way that is
circulated. Someone along the way decided to create the prayer from one of
Washington's letters and package it in the fabricator's own
religious cultural language.
The original words from Washington are from the closing paragraph of
a letter to the governors of the 13 states on the occasion of his
retirement from command of the Continental Army and public life. We consulted John C. Fitzpatrick's collection of the writings of
George Washington that are available through the University of
Virginia Library and which includes the text of the letter.
In the letter, Washington said that he wanted the governors to
convey his words to their legislatures and that he hoped it would be
regarded as coming from someone who always wished to be useful to
his country and who in the shade of retirement would not fail to
"implore divine benediction upon it."
Then his final paragraph contains the words of his benediction:
I now 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 a brotherly affection and love for one another,
for their fellow Citizens of 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 Characteristicks 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.
The prayer that is circulated,
however, adds a formal salutation and prayer ending, changes it to
King James English (used for formal prayers among many Christian
groups), changes some of the wording, and leaves out words from the
original. A blessing that was written to the governors of the states about
their states and their soldiers was changed to be a general prayer
about the country.
We even found one reference that claimed the prayer was prayed by
George Washington during battle at Valley Forge.
Last updated 12/5/03
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Subject: The Country Should Know This. I wish all the anti church and
state folks knew this.
On the aluminum cap atop the Washington Monument in
Washington, DC are two
words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact ... most visitors
the monument have no idea they are even there and ... for that matter
probably could care less!
But there they are ... 555 feet, 5.125 inches high ...
perched atop the
monument to the father of our nation. Overlooking the 69 square miles
comprise the District of Columbia. capital of the United States of
Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words
... out of sight and,
one might think, out of mind ... but very meaningfully placed at the
point over what is the most powerful city in the world.
And what might those two words ... comprised of just
four syllables and only
seven letters ... mean? Very simply ... "Praise be to God!"
Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848 when James Polk
President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument
inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to
cap the memorial with the tribute Laus Deo!
"Praise be to God!"
From atop this magnificent granite and marble
structure ... a visitor can
take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into
major segments. And from that vantage point one can also easily see the
original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant ... a perfect
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. A cross ... you say?
How interesting! And ... no doubt ... intended to
carry a 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
12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th
memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a
made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting
Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. "Praise be to
When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was
laid on July 4th, 1848
deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented
the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral
direction, the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President
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 opportunity ... 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
and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for
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
and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper
mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed
religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these
can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech
Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
As you might have guessed ... I kind of like the idea
that our Pledge of
Allegiance includes the phrase "under God." 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
the great men who formed and fashioned her pivotal foundations. And .
one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over
nation's capitol ... one will easily find the signature of God.