Nine months have passed since Lance Cpl. Pedro Barboza Flores, of Glendale, was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in southwestern Afghanistan.
For the hundreds of people who gathered at Memorial Day ceremonies across Glendale, Burbank and Montrose, Barboza Flores' life was celebrated among the names of fallen service members, bagpipes, benedictions, patriotic hymns and roses.
Barboza Flores, 27, a recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, was less than two months into his first tour with the Marines when the improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
"This year has been especially hard for our family," said his sister, Aurora Alamillo. "He missed his first Christmas, his first Mother's Day. Even though he was already in his mid-20s when he joined, he was still my little brother."
Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, his family moved to the United States when he was 1. A student at Glendale High School and Glendale Community College, "Pete" joined the Marine Corps in March 2008, was promoted to lance corporal in December and was crewman in a light-armored vehicle.