Around Town: A proud member of the family

Last week, the city of Pasadena adopted me. The city of Pasadena doesn't exactly know that it adopted me, but it did.

Bill Paparian, a former Pasadena mayor, pointed out that we've practiced law on the parade route for nearly 30 years and have been active in Crown City organizations, therefore — Ich bin ein Pasadenoid!

Two weeks ago, Len and I were appointed to a Pasadena city advisory committee. There are six of us on the committee. The members include Paparian; Bill Thomson, another former Pasadena mayor and current PCC trustee; Ann Erdman, Pasadena's former public information; Harry Kurdoghlian, a Pasadena firefighter; plus me and my husband, Leonard Torres.

Our goal was to implement another adoption. We wanted to ask the city of Pasadena to adopt the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, a reserve unit with headquarters on Paloma Street in Pasadena. The unit, known as “2/23,” has more than 1,000 reserve Marines and sailors, with locations in California, Utah and Nevada.

With the current downsizing of the Marine Corps, many expect that reserve units such as 2/23 will be reactivated to pick up the slack created by the downsizing. This happened to the unit once before. Right after Sept. 11, 2001, the unit was activated for one year. The “one-year” activation was then extended into two years, and intermittently thereafter. Reservists from 2/23 have deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. As our military downsizes, we will again see a return to the “citizen soldier” — civilian reservists who are called up to serve.

Our committee swiftly asked the city of Pasadena to formally join the “Adopt-a-Unit” program, which pairs cities with military units in order to “bond local communities with brave servicemen and women who protect and serve our country."

The city of Pasadena immediately responded. On Nov. 25, the City Council heard our request. Todd Moore, Esq., of Hahn & Hahn, pointed out that 50 years ago, the city had adopted the Pasadena Navy League. Today, the USS Pasadena, a Los Angeles Class nuclear submarine, has ties to the city.

To everyone's delight (and gratitude), the Pasadena City Council voted unanimously to “adopt” the Marines of 2/23. In doing so, they also adopted me, a mere La Cañada civilian.

What does my dual allegiance mean for La Cañada? There are no military units based in our town. Our high schools have no ROTC units. La Cañada doesn't even have a nuclear submarine.

On the other hand, members of La Cañada Presbyterian Church have quietly given major support to student veterans at our local community college, Pasadena City College. Our own Tournament of Roses association consistently enters award-winning floats in Pasadena's Rose Parade.

More importantly, La Cañada has a rooster ordinance and the Nov. 25 Pasadena City Council agenda included a proposed chicken ordinance. Both cities share views of the glorious foothills. Both cities are blessed with wonderful residents. Both cities police the Gallus gallus species.

How can La Cañada help support the adoption of our region's closest military unit? Right now, the Marines are finishing up their annual Toys for Tots collection. Maybe La Cañada could begin collecting a few toys next Memorial Day in our Memorial Park, or we could invite members of 2/23 to our community events — get to know them, maybe? Right here in La Cañada Flintridge.

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ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at anitasusan.brenner@yahoo.com and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

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