A Welcome Home ceremony to salute over 200 Marines will take place this Friday, May 10 from 10:20 – 11 a.m. in front of Pasadena City Hall (100 N. Garfield Ave.).
Last year they were called to active duty, and during their deployment conducted training exercises that spanned across four countries in the Indo-Pacific Area, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The reserve battalion of this Marine Corps infantry is based in Pasadena, adjacent to Victory Park. In their civilian life many of them are First Responders, including police officers, deputy sheriffs and firefighters.
They are part of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment that 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, Pasadena Citizen-Marines 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, they were recognized as the best battalion in the entire Fourth Marine Division.
Many of these Marines live and work in the local area. They provide their services for color guards, Military Funeral Honors, and participate 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, the Citizen-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 2nd Battalion 23rd Marine Regiment.