An obelisk is a stone pillar that usually has a square or rectangular cross section and a pyramidal top. Many monuments have an obelisk shape such as the Washington Monument in Washington DC.
But the obelisk I am thinking of today is right here in my hometown near the Houston Ship Channel. It's called the San Jacinto Monument.
San Jacinto is the place of an 1836 battle during Texas' fight for independence from Mexico. The Texas army surprised the Mexican army shouting, "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" It took the Texans 18 minutes to subdue the majority of the Mexican army.
The obelisk (monument) is 570 feet tall; that's 15 feet taller than the Washington monument. Construction began in 1936, 100 years following the war with Mexcio. It opened to the public in 1939.
San Jacinto Monument
According to the monument's website, "The shaft itself is octagonal, 48 feet at its base, 30 feet at the observation level and 19 feet square at the base of its crowning jewel—a 220-ton star made from stone, steel and concrete. Despite the scale, danger and novelty of the project, not a single life was lost during its construction."
Star on SJM
“In future time, then may the pilgrim’s eye see here an obelisk point toward the sky….”
— Anonymous poet
The above prediction was penned in the poem: “Ode to San Jacinto”, even before the Republic of Texas became the State of Texas.