It’s Time to Honor, It’s Time to Remember: Enduring Heroes

May 21, 2017

Todd, JP, Willie, Sergio, Cory, Rogelio, Joe, Adam, Dion, Carla, and Scott.

They “are a diverse group of young soldiers who, nonetheless, have much in common. Those lucky enough to have known them, remember their bravery, selflessness, and the love they brought into the world.”


They are…

Army First Lieutenant Todd J. Bryant, 23 – Khaldiya, Iraq, October 31, 2003
Marine Second Lieutenant JP Blecksmith, 24 – Fallujah, Iraq, November 11, 2004
Marine Lance Cpl. Dion M. Whitley, 21 – Ramadi, Iraq, June 15, 2005
Marine Lance Cpl. Sergio H. Escobar, 18 – Ramadi, Iraq, October 9, 2005
Army Reserve Specialist Carla Jane Stewart, 37 – Tallil, Iraq, January 28, 2007
Army Specialist Adam J. Rosema, 27 – Baquba, Iraq, March 14, 2007
Army Private First Class Cory F. Hiltz, 20 – Baghdad, Iraq, June 28, 2007
Marine Lance Cpl. Rogelio A. Ramirez, 21 – Al Anbar Province, Iraq, August 26, 2007
Army Specialist William J. Gilbert, 24 – Sanjaray, Afghanistan, May 14, 2013
Army Green Beret SSG Scott R. Studenmund, 24 – Gaza Village, Afghanistan, June 9, 2014
Army Sergeant Joseph F. Stifter, 30 – Al Anbar Province, Iraq, January 28, 2016



To honor and remember these young men and woman, artist Christopher Slatoff has created what’s become an eight foot bronze sculpture, with the dedication in Defenders Park scheduled for Memorial Day, May 29.




Sculptor Christopher Slatoff.








Bronze miniature of Fallen Heroes Memorial.


Defenders Park is the lovely 1.8 acres of green space near the Colorado Street Bridge at the southwest corner of Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards. After several years and lots of work, Enduring Heroes founder Shelly Lowe, project manager Rhonda Kozacik, and committee members Jordi Stringfellow and Jaynie Studenmund—along with other ardent volunteers, family members, Gold Star families, sponsors, and supporters—were able to celebrate the City of Pasadena approving this privately-funded memorial in late 2015. The statue will stand among the WWI memorial flagpole and WWII monument.



Enduring Heroes’s Mission is to pay permanent tribute to our Pasadena area Fallen Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Wars on Terror since 9/11. At the same time, we aim to increase awareness of and support for our Veterans and Armed Services.



The Dedication will feature remarks from:


  • Gold Star father, Ed Blecksmith, USMC Vietnam Veteran and father of JP Blecksmith, USMC 2nd LT, KIA, 11/11/04, Iraq
  • EH Committee Chair, Shelly Lowe
  • Pasadena Mayor, Terry Tornek
  • Congressman Adam Schiff
  • Keynote Speaker: Lt Col. David Diamond, who serves as the Special Assistant to the Asst. Secretary of Defense for Special Operations at the Pentagon, will provide the keynote remarks at the Dedication on May 29. Diamond has been combat deployed seven times and has a keen understanding of our Nation’s heroes and veterans. In September 2016, Lt. Col. Diamond was awarded the rarely given “Soldiers Medal” by Senator John McCain and Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning for distinguishing himself through heroism at the Boston Marathon bombing.


Dedication of Pasadena’s Enduring Heroes Memorial 
Monday, May 29, 3 p.m.
Defenders Park at corner of Orange Grove & Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Free event, come early!
For more info, visit event Facebook page
For questions & reserve a seat, email Rhonda at


(L to R): Cassandra Lane Rich, Christopher Slatoff, Steve Madison, and Shelly Lowe.


Christopher Slatoff working on memorial sculpture, Pasadena City Council member Steve Madison talking with Gold Star mother of Green Beret Scott Studenmund, Janie Studenmund.


Capt. Lowe (right) working on memorial with sculptor Christopher Slatoff.


(L to R): Gold Star mom Jaynie Studenmund, Pasadena Police Chief Sanchez, and his wife Deborah.


All photos courtesy of Enduring Heroes.






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