An incredible moment

Shortly before the (Re)Set the Table exhibit ended at The Yellow House Gallery, the Ganio family came to see the portrait of Patricio Ganio – including Mr. Ganio himself.

Four generations of the family were represented. Mr. Ganio’s great-grandchildren and I were able to hear stories about the Bataan Death March, his time in the POW camp, and his heroism. We also heard more about his decades-long fight for official recognition from the United States government for the Filipino soldiers who fought and died in the Pacific theater of World War II.

I approached Mr. Ganio and asked him in Tagalog, “Gusto mo ba ang litrato mo?” [Do you like your photo?]

He responded in English, “Yes, it is very nice.”

Filipino WW2 veteran and Purple Heart recipient Patricio Ganio looking at his portrait at The Yellow House Gallery

Filipino WW2 veteran and Purple Heart recipient Patricio Ganio standing next to his portrait

My goal with The Faces to Remember Project is to inspire viewers to learn more about the events in history that each person pictured endured and start a conversation about the people who are at risk of being forgotten.

That time with Mr. Ganio and his family was the most rewarding moment of my 15-year photography career to date. For him to see his portrait, presented in large format and hung in a gallery, was a significant experience for his family and for me as well.