The General Grant National Memorial was a short yet exciting self-guided tour. The actual location seems hidden in a secret place that can easily be overlooked by people who are walking past. I will admit that I got lost. Although I was one block away, l could not pinpoint its whereabouts. Passabyers who were either standing or walking in the nearby couldn’t either. Luckily for me, I made a phone call to the General Grant National Memorial gift shop and received directions by a kind voice on the other end of the line.
Finally, I arrived! The exterior of the building was elaborate, and there were lots of steps that led to the entrance. Before the entry, there was a row of massive columns and behind them were two huge American flags that hung vertically. The flags swayed in the summer breeze. Sitting on top of the walls that were on both sides of the stairs, were two eagles that were in the formation to fly away. Across the street from the memorial site was Riverside Park. I didn’t go to the park. Instead, I walked up the stairs and entered the building.
Wow! The entire interior of the General Grant National Memorial building was all marble. Very skilful workers undoubtedly created the carved details of the designs on the ceiling and the rooms. The interior design was very exquisite. There was a friendly security guard who greeted me at the door. The security guard stated that this was the final resting place for Hiram Ulysses Grant, also known as General Grant. He was the 18th President of the United States. His late wife, Julia Dent was placed to rest in a tomb that was beside his own.
In the middle of the first floor, there was a large open circular space that allowed me to look down and see both tombs. There was also a small room on the main floor that showcased the American flags. On the walls, was a hand painted map of the various places in which the civil war took place throughout the United States. Encased were the infantries that help to fight in the war. Some of them were the 16th Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry, 11th Indian Volunteer Infantry and the 7th Iowa Volunteers Regimental Flag.
Afterwards, I headed downstairs to get a closer look at the tombs. They were massive. They sat in the center of the room. Surrounding them were statues of several men of courage who fought bravely in the civil war. The last names of the soldiers or commanding officers were engraved at the bottom of each statue. Some of them were McPherson, Sheridan, Ord and Sherman.
Well, that pretty much concluded my self-guided tour of the General Grant National Memorial. It was historically enriching. If you are near Riverside Park, I will recommend that you stop by and check this out!
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