Washington Monument – 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.


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. 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)

Even Snopes.com has something to say about this.

4 Responses to “Washington Monument – Laus Deo”

  1. Has this been fixed as expressed by the park service?

  2. Is there a photo somewhere that actually shows the inscription “Laus Deo” on the Washington Monument?

  3. Careful attention should be paid to Washington’s prayer. Washington was a ‘deist’ and Scottish Rite Freemason. After requests had originally been made to Bonnie Prince Charley of Scotland to some to A Merica to take up the Throne of David in the “promised land” and refused, next Washington was approached as he was of the same bloodline as Charley (James Charles Stuart). Washington declined for the same reasons as Stuart … no male posterity. “Christians” have largely ‘boot-strapped’ their way into this and called our nation a Christian nation. That is a long stretch. A “nation” is a people with the same bloodline. The United States is not a nation, but, as has been said, a ‘melting pot’. We have people here from all over the world.

    Merica is the name of the star that the Scottish Rite/Knights Templars followed on their travels to the New World from the earliest of times. ‘A Merica’ would probably mean … To Merica, as a navigational course.

    Perhaps a proper historical perspective would be helpful for people to get a clearer idea of how all these things came about. Certainly the capstone on the Washington Monument is helpful.

    FYI, I am not a mason or a Templar or such. I am just me.

  4. Mr. Carmichael you sound like an atheist college professor. Regardless what Washington’s beliefs were i for one believe in god and if you didnt know every single session of congress has been started by a prayer given by a Christian preacher. America’s founding principles are based on Christianity whether you beleive that or not. Finallly America was started by immigrants but this is my home and i dont want a “melting pot” of illegals coming here and trashing it and i know you wouldn’t want me to come to your home without you knowing about it. I beleive in God sir, i am a Christian American and i live in the greatest country on Earth not some utopian country where anyone is welcome that was named after a star. Take your “Merica Star melting pot” and stick it where the sun dont shine!

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