The Ten Commandments
I AM the LORD thy God
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven
Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord
thy God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy
days may be long upon the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness
against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor
his manservant, no his maidservant, nor his
cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.
The first monument presents a secular message along with its spiritual content. It is a first Code of Laws, a fundamental example of our legal system. We are a nation of laws. The Fraternal Order of Eagles presented this monument to the City in 1958 in order that our nation’s youth would be reminded of basic civilized rules.
The European settlers who founded this country tried to live according to the Ten Commandments. In addition, the early English settlers brought with them English common law, first compiled in Blackstone’s Commentaries (1765). The English common law is still basic to most of our states. Other European settlers brought Roman law, as compiled in the Code of Justinian (565), which became the foundation for the laws of Louisiana and for most of modern Europe. The principles of the Ten Commandments were a basis for both Blackstone’s and Justinian’s writings.