Pasadena Police, Fire Departments Remember Those Who Gave Their Lives to Protect Pasadena

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Story and Videography by BRANDON VILLALOVOS

7:50 pm | May 12, 2016


 

The fallen of the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments were honored Thursday at an emotionally charged tribute to the individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice while keeping this city safe.

A sedate crowd gathered in front of the City Hall for The Fifth Annual Police and Fire Memorial Service. Pasadena officials including Mayor Terry Tornek, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Deputy Police Chief John Perez, Deputy Fire Chief Jon Trautwein and Deputy Fire Chief Eugene Campbell, Jr. went front and center to speak.

“Most of us go to work everyday and have a very predictable day, but this morning’s event reminds us that that’s not necessarily the case for our police and firefighters,” said Mayor Tornek.

May is the time of year that public safety honors their fallen first responders all across the United States. To date, seven Pasadena Police Officers and nine Pasadena Firefighters have lost their lives protecting our community.

“Frankly, it would be better if we didn’t have to have a day like today, but it’s important that we do,” said Tornek, referring to the grim reality of the dangers of the jobs.

The attendance of city officials and the families of fallen first responders brought a sense of unity that paid great respect in the form of gratitude rather than sadness.

“They made the ultimate sacrifice to protect all who live in, visit or work in Pasadena,” said Sanchez.

Traditional displays of meticulously dressed police and firefighters donning white gloves and symmetrical stances reinforced the level of respect that was felt by all. Additionally, musical tributes included bagpipes, a solo rendition of Amazing Grace, two choral pieces by Marantha High School Choir and United States Marine Corps bugler playing “Taps.”

The public is generally aware of the risks of both professions, but often seems to forget the incalculable impact of the of an officer or firefighter on his or her spouse and children

“Assaults on police officers seem to occur at a greater frequency these days. According to Officer Down Memorial Page, nationwide thirty-five law enforcement officers have been killed or have died in the line of duty in 2016,” said Sanchez.

In early April, two Pasadena police officers escaped a potentially tragic situation when a fleeing suspect allegedly opened fire on them.

“In this job, you’ll see experience and see things that you could have never imagined,” said Trautwein.

The memorial’s 21-gun salute was a powerful token of appreciated and honor for the men who have lost their lives protecting our city’s residents.

“We honor them for their courage, commitment and service. They and their families gave and sacrificed more than any of us could have asked of them. May they be an example to us and encourage us to give our best in remembrance of them,” said Trautwein.