Families will honor Pasadena soldiers' sacrifice at 'Enduring Heroes' monument unveiling

The families of 11 Pasadena-area soldiers who died in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the “War on Terror” will dedicate an eight foot statue honoring the fallen soldiers at Defenders Park this Memorial Day.

The Gold Star families began working on the memorial in 2014 following the death of Pasadena resident and Green Beret Scott Studenmund.

“The Enduring Heroes Memorial and dedication will honor these young men and women who stepped into the breach to keep this Nation free and independent and who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that freedom,” said Ed Blecksmith, the father of Marine JP Blecksmith, who died at 24 in Fallujah, in a statement.

The dedication will take place at 3 p.m. Monday in Defenders Park at the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove boulevards in Pasadena. The eight-foot bronze “Enduring Heroes” sculpture depicts a combat soldier holding the American Flag behind him with the stars on the flag cut out. The holes allow the sun to cast stars on the ground and “rain to weep through,” said Shelly Lowe, Enduring Heroes’ Steering Committee Chair.

Local artist Christopher Slatoff sculpted the piece using inspiration from the families’ stories.

On the back of the flag, each family provided remembrances for each soldiers. These memories, cast in bronze, give the public a chance to connect with the soldiers as more than just names on a memorial.

“You realize they’re children that were loved, fathers and daughters,” Lowe said. “You stop…

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