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Obama signs bill renaming GMF after Gerber

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

News from Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo

 

President Obama Signs Bill Renaming Barrigada Post Office in Honor of John Gerber

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 8, 2011 – Washington, D.C. –

 

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that President Barack Obama has signed into law H.R. 1843, a bill to designate the Guam Main Facility U.S. Post Office in Barrigada, as the "John Pangelinan Gerber Post Office Building."  The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1843, by a vote of 414 yeas to 3 noes, on July 20, 2011 and the U.S. Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on October 20, 2011.

Congresswoman Bordallo introduced H.R. 1843 on May 11, 2011, in honor of John Gerber, who dedicated his life to helping his fellow Marines, veterans, and servicemembers. He worked to educate the public about Guam's importance of the War in the Pacific, as well as the Marine Corps' role in the Liberation of Guam. Many remember him for his hospitality and generosity; throughout his life, he hosted fiestas for more than 20,000 servicemembers at his home in Ordot. In 2004, he led an effort to rename Route 1 from Marine Drive to Marine Corps Drive to commemorate the 1,548 Marines who lost their lives, and 6,000 Marines who were wounded, during the Liberation of Guam. For 27 miles, on the road from Andersen Air Force Base to Naval Base Guam, he pulled a cart, strapped with a billboard that read: "This road was paved with the blood of 1,548 Marines. Let us never forget."  Later, he established the Pacific War Museum, which opened its doors on July 21, 2008, the 64th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam. He opened this museum to educate the public about the War in the Pacific, showcasing his personal collection of relics from World War II that he collected and restored over the years.

John Gerber was the 2011 recipient of the Colonel John H. Magruder Award.  The award was posthumously bestowed on Mr. Gerber by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation in recognition for his excellence in depicting and perpetuating Marine Corps History.

"John's tireless efforts on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps and veterans on Guam made him a leader in our community," said Congresswoman Bordallo.  "The John Pangelinan Gerber Post Office Building will serve as a lasting tribute not only to John's contributions to Guam, our nation, and the Marine Corps, but also to those servicemembers who sacrifice so much for our nation.  I hope our community will always remember the Marines who fought to liberate our island from enemy occupation and other issues John championed during his life."

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