Sometimes we need to review the past to understand the best direction for the future. Very few people realize that on an aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington DC, are displayed two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words and most people are unaware of the meaning associated with this plaque.

When we understand the rich heritage of this cap and the history behind Laus Deo we can better appreciate why our current state-of-affairs in Washington D.C. are so alarming. If the government and courts continue to move away from their biblically-based heritage we will experience a moral and ethical collapse of our culture. The words atop this monument will become a lost prayer.

What do the words Laus Deo on top of this prestigious 555 feet, 5.125 inches high monument that face skyward mean? Why do they face heavenly? The Washington Monument overlooks the 69 square miles, which comprise the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States of America.

Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant and un-noticed words were once the hope and prayer of our nation. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, “Laus Deo” The words had a meaningful purpose and significance to the nation in the Nineteenth Century. 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 by President Grover Cleveland that people better appreciated the significance of this embellishment.

What do those two words, in Latin, comprised of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say “Praise be to God!” [Laus means “Praise be” and Deo means “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.

Despite our government taking prayer out of the schools and all the subsequent “anti-God legislation” being implemented under the pretense of separation of church and state, our forefathers had a different story to tell. 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, the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy whose name was placed on this monument. He and the founders of this great nation had the vision of “One Nation, Under God.”

When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation’s capitol, we will easily find the influence and legacy that this nation was founded on a biblical foundation. The politician, judges, and liberals can say all they want to confuse the public, but look into the fundamentals surrounding our heritage. Instead of damning God we should follow the lead found on-top of the Washington Monument and praise our God!

Though many try to disprove and reason that our government should be without a Judeo/Christian influence, their arguments are weak and easily proven without basis. Their efforts will forever be in vain; God assures us of that. Many people are beginning to realize we need God back in our government and our lives. Any nation that is not built upon God will fail. The Psalmist reminds us, “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)

Personal Application:

What can you share with others about your godly heritage? How can you better communicate with your governmental leaders at all levels that would help them understand their responsibility to protect our biblical foundation?