My name is Miriam Adams and I am writing the Metro Board to express my support for the naming of one of the Metro stations in Santa Monica in honor of my uncle Private Joe Gandara.
Joe Gandara fought and died in WWII in the 82nd Airborne, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment: after parachuting behind enemy lines he voluntarily left his cover and helped destroy the advancing enemy; he was fatally wounded.
Last year, my uncle was honored and posthumously decorated with the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony which I accepted from President Obama on my uncle’s behalf.
During a commemoration ceremony held last year in France during the week of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Major General John W. Nicholson, Jr. 82nd Airborne Div. spoke of Private Gandara’s sacrifice:
“Despite his young age when he died, Gandara knew full well what would happen when he exposed himself. He knew he was likely to die and he did it anyway. He died protecting his comrades, but he also died to end oppression of the French people and prevent the oppression of his countrymen.”
The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon a few of many thousands of men who gave their lives to serve their country heroically. Private Joe Gandara was not married nor had children but his family and his country meant everything. Born and raised in Santa Monica, his family brought his body home where he is buried, at his mother’s feet, in Woodland Cemetery at 14th and Pico, in Santa Monica.
I ask that you please consider naming and honoring one of Santa Monica’s Metro Terminals after our heroic Private Joe Gandara, Medal of Honor recipient.
Miriam Adams, niece of Private Joe Gandara