Tuesday named Jose Valdez day in honor of WWII hero
SALT LAKE CITY— Tuesday, Feb. 8 was declared Jose Valdez recognition day, to honor the bravery of a man who sacrificed himself to save others in WWII.
Valdez was part of the 3rd Infantry Division which fought from North Africa through Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany during World War II.
On Jan. 3, 1945, Valdez was on duty in France when the Germans launched an attack. The American Patrol was completely surrounded and understanding that everyone would die if something wasn’t done, Valdez volunteered to provide cover from enemy fire so that his fellow soldiers could return to safety.
Valdez was able fire and hold off 200 enemy soldiers, but in the process, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down. Valdez dragged himself back to the American lines and passed away from his injuries three weeks later.
Valdez was awarded the Medal of Honor on Feb. 8, 1946, a year after his death. To honor his sacrifice, Gov. Cox declared Feb. 8 the Jose Valdez recognition day.
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