Library renamed to honor Congressional Medal of Honor winner

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The West Garden Grove Library was renamed last week in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor, recipient of two Purple Hearts and Holocaust survivor Tibor Rubin of Garden Grove.

The library will now be known as, "The Garden Grove Tibor Rubin Library" and is listed in that manner on the front of the building, where a bronze bust of Rubin also stands by the front door.

The bronze bust was sculpted by Armen Balyan and cast by the Art Bronze Foundry in San Fernando.

The West Garden Grove Library was renamed last week in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor, recipient of two Purple Hearts and Holocaust survivor Tibor Rubin of Garden Grove.

The library will now be known as, "The Garden Grove Tibor Rubin Library" and is listed in that manner on the front of the building, where a bronze bust of Rubin also stands by the front door.

The bronze bust was sculpted by Armen Balyan and cast by the Art Bronze Foundry in San Fernando.

The front of the library has been re-landscaped with plants that represent the flag's stars and stripes in color.

In attendance were wife Evonne, daughter Rosie and son Frank, and extended family and friends. Also on hand were current and former members of the Garden Grove City Council and city staff; they included Mayor Bao Nguyen, City Manager Allan Roeder and former Mayor Bruce Broadwater.

President George W. Bush presented Rubin the country's highest military honor, the "Congressional Medal of Honor" Sept. 23, 2005, at the White House in Washington D.C.

"Rubin is one of only nine Korean War Medal of Honor recipients who is alive today —145 were awarded. However, two-thirds were killed in action," said Kimberly Huy, with the library.

The award was presented 55 years after Rubin's service in the Korean War. The honor was overlooked because of anti-Semitism by a superior. According to studies in the late 1990s by the U.S. Army, discrimination against Rubin and other Jewish veterans was fairly common.

In 2014, the United States Postal Service unveiled a Forever Stamp Prestige Folio with the 13 Korean War Medal of Honor recipients, which includes Rubin.

Rubin was born in Hungary. In 1942, when Rubin was 13 years old, Nazi soldiers forced his family into the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, where they all remained until 1945, when the Americans liberated him and his family from a sure death in the gas chambers.

The Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp included a group of camps built around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria, approximately 12.5 miles east of the city of Linz.

Rubin decided he would go to America to defend the country that saved his family's life and so, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to the front lines of the Korean War, where Rubin single-handedly slowed an enemy advance for 24-hours, thereby distinguishing himself with extraordinary heroism.

At one point during the war, Rubin was wounded and captured by the Chinese.

The Chinese told Rubin they would send him back to Hungary, but not to the U.S. Rubin chose to remain with his fellow soldiers in the POW camp for three years, risking death each night as he sneaked out to steal food and medical supplies, saving the lives of 40 other prisoners.

"Although Garden Grove may not have a wartime medal to present to Tibor, we do have metal letters spelling out his name on the library wall, to forever commemorate our undying gratitude and unparalleled respect of a nation," said Huy.

In 1990, Congress designated March 25 as National Medal of Honor Day.

The re-naming of the Garden Grove Library is a well-deserved tribute.

Simply said, “Thank you,” U.S. Army Cpl., Army rifleman, POW survivor and patriot Tibor Rubin, for your immeasurable service.