Gold Star Families Joined by Supportive Crowd at Enduring Heroes Monument for Sunday Ceremony, Yards from Where Rose Parade Started

The Louisburg Wild Cat Band, from Louisburg, Kansas perform.Gold Star families bow their heads during prayer.The Louisburg Wild Cat Band, from Louisburg, Kansas perform.Tammie Ashley, Gold Star mother of Marine Sgt. Joshua Ashley with Cirrus.Guests take pictures.Mayor of Pasadena Terry Tornek.Guests place their hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance.Gold Star families and guests place their hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance.Guests take pictures of the Enduring Heroes Memorial.Madilyn Mecton, 15, performs with the Louisburg Wild Cat Band, from Louisburg, Kansas.Guests take pictures of the Enduring Heroes Memorial.Cirrus the dog of Marine Sgt. Joshua Ashley is the guests of honor.

Photography by JAMES CARBONE

6:16 am | January 1, 2018


Families of six local fallen soldiers were joined by dozens of Pasadena residents, city and Tournament of Roses officials and active duty military members at Defenders Park on Sunday afternoon hours before, for the first time, the Rose Parade marched by the new military memorial there.

“This will be the first year that our soldier will be standing watch over the parade,” said Gold Star Mother Jaynie Studenmund.

Her son, Army Staff Sgt. Scott Studenmund of Pasadena, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2014.

Studenmund was referring to the new Enduring Heroes Monument in the park, an 8-foot-tall bronze statue which depicts a U.S. soldier triumphantly holding aloft an American flag.

Defenders Park, a grassy section of a small public green near the bustling intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards where the Rose Parade starts. The Goodhue Memorial Flagpole on the northeast corner commemorates World War I veterans and the Enduring Heroes Memorial faces the flagpole, symbolically connecting the two.

Also at Sunday’s event were Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Enduring Heroes Monument sculptor Chris Slatoff, Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet and other local officials.

The Louisburg High School Band — in town to march in the Parade — honored the Memorial with their music.