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The Builder Magazine 1915 Vol I No 07

The Builder Magazine 1915 Vol I No 07

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Published by: HiramSecret on Nov 08, 2011
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The Builder Magazine
July 1915 - Volume I - Number 7MASONIC MEMORIALS
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., D.C.HISTORY is often perverted in its memorials, and memorials are the enduringevidences which impress the minds of generations and generations.Few people take the trouble to snake careful inquiry into even current events. Most of us read the head-lines in the daily papers, and form hasty conclusions. Life is too short,we say, to delve into details of much that is passing. The head-lines are oftenambiguous, and sometimes are contradicted in the text below them.A monument or statue to memorialize a man usually invites attention to his mostimportant act, and this is never lost sight of either by its projectors or by the artist.In the Capital of the Nation there are, in the Parks and Streets, more than 50 memorialsof heroes, idols, and events besides those under cover in the Public Buildings. Thoughmore than half of these memorialize men who were Masons, there is no Masonicemblem nor word to indicate it, with one exception.Enthusiasts are making history. It has been said there is nothing true in historyexcepting the dates: but it still continues.The first statue erected in Washington was that of Columbus, sculpted by the greatPersico, situated on the buttress on the east side of the Capitol. It shows Columbus inthe armor and the uniform he wore, as a discoverer, and the memorial is calledDiscovery. The bust is a replique of one in Madrid, modeled during the life of Columbus, and believed to be a good por trait. But, not satisfied with this, the Knightsof Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians et al. secured al appropriation fromCongress of $150,000 to erect an other statue of Columbus which is shown in a cloak such as is worn by Monks, and even the portraiture is not at all like that of Persico'sstatue. This is all the more remarkable since it has been pretty well prover thatColumbus was a Spanish Jew. Certainly he never wrote excepting in the SpanishLanguage.
But our essay is upon the effigies in the Parks of Washington, which memorializeFreemasons, though that quality may be incidental.So many of these memorials are of military men that the stranger at once gets the ideathat we are a terribly war-like people, while we claim to be peace lovers.Some of these memorials are dual: there are two of Washington, two of Lincoln, andtwo of Columbus.The first and greatest is that of Washington. An obelisk, square, upright and perfect, plain on the outside, white and smooth; but on the inside there are sculptured memorialstones, presented by States, Grand Lodges, Foreign Governments, Societies andindividuals. The site was selected by Washington himself, and is on the exact meridianof Washington City, a mile due east of the Capitol, and is due south of the ExecutiveMansion (now called White House.)It was intended to build it by subscription, and to make it 600 feet high; the higheststructure in the world: but the subscriptions ceased before the Civil War came on, whenthe obelisk was but 54 feet high, and work ceased. The corner stone was laid by theGrand Lodge of the District of Columbia on the 4th of July, 1848, and it was dedicated by the Grand Lodge in 1885.In 1882 Congress made an appropriation to finish the Monument, and it then passedinto Government possession. It was determined that the foundation was not strongenough, and Col. Thos. L. Casey, of the U. S. Engineers, was accorded high honor for the masterly manner in which he accomplished the difficult work of underpinning andstrengthening the foundation, which he did before adding a single course of stone. Theshaft is 55 feet square at the base and 555 feet high. Its weight is estimated at 81,120tons. The walls, at the base, are 15 feet thick. There is now an elevator in themonument, so its ascent is not hard. There is a spiral stair case reaching nearly to thetop from which stairs the many memorial stones may be examined.Among the first contributions were beautiful stones from Masonic Lodges, from theStates, many cities, Societies, etc.The memorial stones, up to the present, number 151, but the Secretary of War hasrecently refused the Grand Lodge of Louisiana the privilege of placing a stone, and hassaid he will permit none others excepting from States.From Individuals there are 6 memorial stones.From Militia Companies6
From Fire Companies8From States, 7 Cities50From Labor Unions8From Benevolent Societies 1From Masonic Bodies24 memorial stones.From the Red Men2From the Odd Fellows10Temperance Societies4Sons of America1S. of T.R.I.1Schools and Colleges9Whig Party1Washington Light Infantry 1Dramatists1Ancient Order of Hibernians 1Oldest Inhabitants1Sunday Schools and Churches 3Medical Society1Cherokee Indians1Switzerland1Greece1Siam1““

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