What This Weekend is Really All About

Published on May 30, 2021

This wreath was placed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Memorial Park in Pasadena on Memorial Day, 2020, during a brief ceremony the likes of which will be repeated, as is tradition, on Monday, May 31, 2021. (Photo by James Carbone)


Due to the pandemic, there are precious few local opportunities on Memorial Day to honor the memory of those brave souls who have perished in military service fighting for America. 

But one local annual tradition will continue, unbowed.

On Monday morning, the Pasadena Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America is planning to conduct a brief Memorial Day service to honor and pay respects to those who have paid the ultimate price for defending our country.

“It is a simple and brief ceremony, nothing grand or fancy, and is brief,” we are told.

The event is planned for May 31st at 10:45 a.m. in Memorial Park, at the southeast corner of Raymond Avenue and Walnut Street in Old Pasadena.

“It’s a very sobering day,” Army veteran and President of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 446 Alan Stelzer once told Pasadena Now. “Hopefully, everyone who comes out and is not a veteran will leave with a newfound appreciation for us.”

Stelzer and fellow VVA members are also sure every year to honor those who lost their lives in wars other than Vietnam, such as the Korean War, which he said does not have a proper memorial site in Pasadena.

“It’s commonly called the Forgotten War,” he said.

There are approximately 40,000 veterans in the San Gabriel Valley alone, Veterans of Foreign Wars representative Dave Loera said recently.

Thirty-one soldiers from Pasadena are documented as killed and/or missing in action during the Vietnam War, according to recent research.

“It’s commonly called the Forgotten War,” he said.

Veteran organizations in Pasadena include the American Legion Pasadena Post 13, East Pasadena American Legion Post 280, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 446.

The event is open to the public.

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