Thursday, December 15, 2011

Honor, At Last

Tomorrow, Friday evening at 6pm, there's going to be a ceremony at All Saints Church to honor the homeless dead. This piece by yesterday's guest author Kat Ward gives more details (ignore the typo, the ceremony will indeed be held Friday night).

Los Angeles County holds an annual ritual to bury the unnamed and unclaimed. Just the thought of it is eerie and sad, over-full of stories not told.

It's too little, too late, of course. But it's something.

5:42PM this just in:


NEWS FOR RELEASE: December 15, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Erdman, (626) 744-4755

Following a ferocious thunderstorm that swept through Pasadena this afternoon, a second windstorm with predicted gusts of up to 60 miles an hour is expected to hit Dec. 16 and 17.

Pasadena Public Works Department crews will be working all weekend to continue the process of debris removal.

“The city of Pasadena has extra crews on call to respond to emergencies should that be necessary,” said Pasadena City Manager Michael J. Beck. “This is a good time for residents to make sure they are prepared in case of an emergency.”        

A page on the city website – – includes comprehensive information about windstorms, including instructions for emergency preparedness, important phone numbers, answers to frequently asked questions and more.

To report power-related issues, call (626) 744-4673; to report fallen or compromised trees in the public right of way, call (626) 744-4321; to report fallen or compromised trees on private property, call (626) 744-4009; to report building damage, call (626) 744-4200. To report a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.

# # #

Ann Erdman
Public Information Officer
City of Pasadena
Public Affairs Office
100 N. Garfield Ave., Room S228
Pasadena CA  91109
(626) 744-4755
Cell: (626) 375-2742
Facebook:  Pasadena PIO
Twitter:  pasadenapio


Dina said...

Thank you for telling us about the church ceremony, Petrea.
Reading the LA Times article throws me into shock and deep sadness. How can that be, so many . . . ?

mise said...

That's so sad. It reminds me of Julian Barnes, in one of his short stories, speaking of the war dead, noting they are remembered with such pomp after their lives have been given up so lightly. As you say, it is a little too late, but perhaps it is a necessary first step to tackling the incongruity.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Yep, every year I see the article on the ones who have passed... I know of someone who is without a family and who I thought I'd be the one who would be in his life.. Unfortunately, our relationship dissolved due to his issues.. I have a feeling he may end up as one of the 'unclaimed'..
Thank God, there is a part of society that cares about the forgotten and unclaimed.

Margaret said...

It's a beautiful church, too.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's a big county, Dina--as if that were an explanation. Pasadena's homeless statistics are small in comparison. Still, the numbers are too large.

Mise, hello! You have a way with words. Thanks for your visit.

Kalei, it's hard to relate to some of these people even for those who are trained to do it. Our donations help them. Their organizations are up against it all year, not just at Christmas.

That it is, Margaret. A glorious place to be honored.

Kat Ward said...

Petrea: thanks for referring to this lovely idea of a memorial for the homeless. As you say, too little for sure, but at least it's something.

*And I fixed the typo—thank you!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Something similar takes place for the unclaimed babies of Los Angeles at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Calimesa. You can see it from the freeway.

Petrea Burchard said...

I keep wanting to say something about how it's all wrong, but I don't have any solutions.

Susan Campisi said...

How sad. I thought about the homeless when I was without power after the storm. It was so cold. How do they endure it? Such a hard life, and then to die alone.

PA, they mention babies in the LA Times article. Hard to wrap my head around it.

Bellis said...

That's a very poignant photo as well.

Ms M said...

Very moving post. May these souls rest in peace.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's hard to wrap my head around all of it. The LA Times article talked about the families that can't afford to pay for a burial. God.

Katie said...

So sad to read about this memorial, and to realize how easy it is to forget about people on the real fringes of society. I'm guilty of walking by homeless people every day thinking I should help (but doing nothing). Thank you for this post; even if I can't go to the memorial, I can donate to local organizations that help people in need.

Petrea Burchard said...

I do it, too, Katie, always telling myself I can't help each individual I see by breaking my own bank. A good donation to a solid group can go farther.
In Pasadena, Union Station is a good place to start: