There are more former American presidents buried in New York (six in all) than in any other state in the Union. Interred inconspicuously most go unnoticed by we the living. However, there is a notable exception. One of them has a massive monument built of white marble in his honor.
Taking a drive down the West Side Highway, it is impossible not to notice the grave marker of our 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant. The man who saved the Union and fought to free 4,000,000 former slaves during the Civil War. Following the conflict he oversaw reconstruction and promoted civil rights. A term which had not yet become popular in the American lexicon. In short, President Grant laid the post-bellum foundation upon which modern American society stands.
The people's gesture of gratitude to President Grant in 1897, 12 years after his death, was the completion of the biggest mausoleum in North America. Today Grant’s Tomb is the final resting place for both he and his wife, the former first lady, Julia Grant. Mrs. Grant lived 17 years beyond the death of the president who died in 1885 at the age of 63. She was entombed beside him in 1902 shortly after passing away at the age of 76.
Today’s day trip suggestion is a visit to Grant’s Tomb, to pay respect to the memory of President and Mrs. Grant. It is a quiet, and beautiful part of the city. Situated upon a hill in the area of Manhattan called Morningside Heights. The mausoleum overlooks the Hudson River. I’m sure that the President and his wife would approve of the site selected for their final resting place. However, it is we who should feel highly honored to have them here with us. Upon visiting this hallowed ground, you will sense what I am alluding to. Grant's tomb may honor the dead, but it is a place where history lives.
Rightfully the Grants might have requested to be entered in Ohio where the general was born. Or, this beautiful mausoleum might have been built on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery where many of the soldiers who fought under his command lie. Instead, the president and Mrs. Grant have come to rest here with us in the City of New York.
We must also consider that at the end of his life Ulysses S. Grant was living as a retired statesman in a small town in Upstate New York called Wilton. He and Mrs. Grant had become New Yorkers and made a home for themselves here. So, it is only fitting that they would stay with us. Because, home is where the heart is, and that is always the best place to rest.
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