Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Battle for the DC Skyline: George Washington

The government and God have their presence in the DC skyline but the third player is a combination of the two. George Washington has become a secular, national god. He has two monuments dedicated to him which are easily viewable from much of the Washington DC area.

First off is the Washington Monument. The monument is in the National Mall, a public commons area which has become the highest concentrated area where tourists gather in DC. The monument creates a right angle connecting the executive center (White House) and the seat of the legislative branch (the capitol building). It is also the tallest structure in Washington and will probably remain so do to construction laws in the district.

When the monument was first being constructed Pope Pius IX donated a marble brick as a gift representing Catholic-American loyalties to their home nation. Know-Nothing stole the brick claiming a foreign ruler had no business with the American-hero Washington and the United States. A backlash against the Know-Nothings occurred and the incident became one of the first times Catholics felt truly accepted by Americans.

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a lodge and museum dedicated to George Washington. The lodge is in Alexandria, Virginia and the only one supported by all other American grand lodges. Since Washington was a Mason and founder of the country, it is viewed that his memorial belongs to all American masons and not just those who live in Virginia.

Secular worship of Washington plus Freemasonry reach a high point in the memorial. Titles of "His Worshipfullness" may surprise the visitor. The tourist areas of the lodge stress how Freemasonary helped foster the ideals of freedom in the United States. The building is a monument to the most famous mason and his effort to create the nation.

The government, God, and George Washington all have their place in the DC skyline. Each monument servers as a reminder to the country of their importance.

1 comment:

casey said...