The crowd sat silent as the powerful sound of a 3-Volley Salute reverberated through the 92-year-old dome that is Pasadena City Hall.
A bell toll quickly followed after it, the chimes a reminder to the attendees, that Pasadena’s annual Police & Fire Memorial is personal. It’s personal for the City, the police officers, the fire fighters and the families who use the day to show respect for the loved ones they lost.
“I’d like to address the families,” said PPD Police Chief John Perez. “The loss of loved ones will always leave a vacant spot in your heart no matter how many years go by. But, it’s up to us to demonstrate to the world – the value and importance of their lives.”
The Police & Fire Memorial held Thursday, May 16th is a yearly event PPD and Pasadena Fire Department hold during National Police Week.
The morning memorial brought together City officials, residents, Pasadena Fire Department and Pasadena Police Department to celebrate the lives of personnel who are no longer with the community, but who still are remembered by everyone who knew them.
Names of Police officers and Firefighters from as far back as 1909 were shared during the presentation, along with remarks from Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Chief Perez, Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington and Deputy Fire Chief Jon Trautwein. Firefighter Todd Witt played Amazing Grace on Bagpipes and Fire Chief Jon Trautwein played Taps.
For Laurie Ballard the annual Pasadena memorial service is a tradition that allows her to pay respects to her husband, Kyle Ballard who died 13 years ago. He was a Pasadena Police Officer who loved what he did and loved being a part of Pasadena.
For Laurie, the death of her husband is something she deals with on a day-to-day by herself. But on this one special morning, she feels united with the Pasadena Police Department.
“I feel supported and not forgotten,” said Ballard. “This job was Kyle’s passion and his dream. And I do wish that there was a way I could let him know how much he mattered to people. He did make an impact …. And the City helps me realize this every year.”