Edward S. Hochman, an officer of the Grant Monument Association since 1994, says everyone can learn valuable lessons in loyalty to family, friends, and country, as well as integrity, modesty, frugality, self-confidence, and selflessness, from Grant's legacy.
Hochman says Grant should be remembered for his fair treatment of American Indians, his successful international arbitrations, and his attempts to protect the freed slaves during Reconstruction. The public interest specialist counsels the GMA in legal affairs and attends to the association's correspondence.
Hochman says Grant's contemporaries viewed him as a great war general and accomplished politician and that Grant should be elevated to the ranks of great presidents along with Washington and Lincoln. "Grant has been under-evaluated as a president, and his reputation came under attack throughout the 20th century. But now it is about time to set the historic record straight," he says.
Hochman, who has long been interested in Civil War history and historic preservation, explains that the tomb in New York City is a tribute not just to Grant, but also to all who served in the Civil War - and that it deserves to be preserved.
It was in January 1994 that, upon reading a New York Times editorial about the deplorable condition of Grant's Tomb, he offered his assistance to remedy the situation. It was through his pro bono services that the GMA was able to sue the federal government to restore the final resting place of America's greatest commander. Hochman says he feels lucky to have been able to perform this service.