Pasadena Salutes Returning Marine Corps Battalion with City Hall Ceremony

The Pasadena United States Marine Corps from the 2d Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment stand at attention during a welcome home event at Pasadena City Hall on Friday, May 10, 2019.Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek with the Pasadena City Council with the Pasadena City Manager and Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington salute during the National Anthem during the Pasadena United States Marine Corps from the 2D Battalion, 23D Marine Regiment Welcome Home Event at the Pasadena City Hall on Friday, May 10, 2019Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington shown at the welcome home event.A Marine wears classic Marine tattoos.The Pasadena United States Marine Corps from the 2d Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment stand at attention during the Welcome Home Event at the Pasadena City Hall on Friday, May 10, 2019.U.S. Marines of the 2d Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment stand at attention during a welcome home event at Pasadena City Hall on Friday, May 10, 2019.The Scottish Pipes and Drums Band perform.The Scottish Pipes and Drums Band perform.Pasadena City Councilmembers from left, Gene Masuda, Victor Gordo, Margaret McAustin and Mayor Terry Tornek talk with the Marines.Pasadena City officials and two former Mayors pose with United States Marine Corps infantry of the 2d Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment during a welcome home event at Pasadena City Hall on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Photography by JAMES CARBONE

4:58 am | May 11, 2019


A reserve battalion of U.S. Marine Corps infantry based in Pasadena was welcomed home Friday morning at City Hall as the troops return from an active duty tour that took them to four countries.

Over 200 Marines from 2d Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment were saluted under grey skies at ceremony.

They were greeted by Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Councilmembers Margaret McAustin, Victor Gordo, Gene Masuda and Andy Wilson, as well as City Manager Steve Mermell and Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington.

Former Pasadena Mayor William Paparian, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was on hand, as was former Mayor Bill Thomson.

The battalion is based in an East Pasadena facility adjacent to Victory Park. In their civilian lives, many of the reservists are First Responders, including police officers, deputy sheriffs, and firefighters.

During their deployment, the Marines conducted training exercises that spanned across four countries in the Indo-Pacific Area, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

The 2d Battalion, 23d Marine Regiment was originally activated in July 1942 and participated in the World War II Campaigns of Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

Of the Marines who seized Iwo Jima, it was said that “uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Since World War II, the Pasadena reservists have been mobilized many times: Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm; twice during Operation Enduring Freedom; and twice during Operation Iraqi Freedom, during which they participated in the capture of Baghdad.

Recently, the Pasadena based battalion was recognized as the best battalion in the entire Fourth Marine Division.

Many of these Marines live and work in the local area, providing their services for color guards, Military Funeral Honors, and participating in the Toys for Tots program over the holidays.

In case of a natural disaster or emergency, these Marines can augment Pasadena’s resources for both planning and response.

Six years ago, theses Marines became the adopted sons and daughters of Pasadena when the City Council, joining a movement that has paired cities with U.S. Military Units since the 1960s, formally adopted the 2d Battalion 23d Marine Regiment.