SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Veterans Medical Center has been renamed in memory of Medal of Honor winners Joe E. Mann and Bruce A. Grandstaff.
President Obama signed a bill earlier in the year with Senator Patty Murray and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers to rename the facility Mann-Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
It honors two Spokane County heroes: Army Private First Class Joe Mann and Army Platoon Sergeant Bruce Grandstaff. Mann fought in World War II and Grandstaff fought in Vietnam, but both died for their country defending their fellow soldiers.
"In an age where the term hero is often overused, those we remember today left a magnificent legacy of American exceptionalism," said Eric Shinseki, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Two granite plaques that tell the soldiers' stories will sit in the hospital named after them.
"It's an honor because especially a hospital...because it does provide service to veterans who are injured or illed, and I don't think there is a better recognition than having a hospital named after you," said Byrne Bennett, Mann's nephew.
"My father was always in my heart my entire life," said Tami Grandstaff, daughter of Bruce Grandstaff. "It's a one in a lifetime event."
U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki attended the renaming ceremony in Spokane on Wednesday morning.
The Medical Center provides health care services to more than 30,000 veterans living in the Inland Northwest.