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Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today took part in the celebration marking the Centennial of the dedication of Grant's Tomb and the 175th birthday of President Ulysses S. Grant. The celebration began with a parade on Riverside Drive and ended with rededication ceremonies at Grant's Tomb, at Riverside Drive and West 122nd Street.
"When we think of Ulysses S. Grant, we recall a great leader, President and brilliant Civil War hero whose calm and inner strength helped him win battles deemed unwinnable," said Mayor Giuliani. "But many New Yorkers had the special privilege of knowing President Grant closely. Neighbors and friends who shared the last years of his life, witnessed his compassion, integrity, selflessness and his love for New York City.
"On August 8, 1885, tens of thousands of people followed President Grant's funeral procession to this very spot, to say farewell to their hero and loyal friend," added the Mayor. "This massive stone monument so aptly reflects the stoic strength he exhibited during the greatest crisis in our nation's history. As we rededicate this great structure today, let us remember Grant's legacy: that honesty, hard work and determination can carry a humble, ordinary person to greatness."
Joining the Mayor at the celebration were Ulysses Grant Dietz, who represented the family of President Grant, Brigadier General Robert J. St. Onge, Jr., the Commandant of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Regional Director Marie Rust, and Superintendent Joseph T. Avery of the National Parks Service.
The National Parks Service, which has administered the General Grant National Memorial since 1959, began an extensive restoration project in 1994 to restore the monument and its surroundings.