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Among Pasadena’s 320 Fallen Heroes Remembered Today, Three Received Nation’s Highest Military Honors

City remembers its sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice, including recipients of top military awards

Published on Monday, May 27, 2024 | 6:26 am

Today’s Memorial Day ceremony in Pasadena will pay tribute to 320 of the city’s sons and daughters who lost their lives serving in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the War on Terror and other conflicts. The ceremony will include the reading of the names of the fallen heroes.

Among the hundreds of names to be read are those of four Pasadena natives who died at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and three who received the nation’s highest military decorations.

“What an incredible story to be shared,” said former Pasadena Mayor and U.S. Marine veteran William Paparian, who researched the heroes.

“The Pasadena Memorial Day Commemoration is intended to be a solemn ceremony. We will honor and remember the men and women from our city who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terrorism,” Paparian said.

“The names of each of the fallen will be read. The program will begin with a missing man formation flyover by the Condor Squadron and conclude with funeral honors presented by the Second Battalion, Twenty-third Marine Regiment.”

All three of the nation’s top military awards for heroism—the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, and the Silver Star—have been posthumously awarded to native sons of Pasadena.

Sgt. Joe Hayashi of Pasadena was reportedly the only Japanese-American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Master Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sanchez was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

First Lieutenant (Infantry) Mark Enari graduated from Pasadena High School and attended Pasadena City College for one year before enlisting in the Army. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the nation’s third-highest military decoration for gallantry in action.

During the reading of the names, two fallen Pasadena aviators will also be remembered. One of them, Captain Joseph H. Kienholz, still remains missing.

The Pasadena Memorial Day Commemoration will be conducted Monday, May 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Park, 85 E. Holly St.

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