What should an “All-American City” include? How about movies in the park on clear, spring nights? Or campfire pits overlooking the mountains and “Huck Finn” family fishing tournaments? An “All-American City” should have streets that are paved with history that causes kids eyes to light up. This city would still have people who care enough to pick up litter and rake leaves. This city would be more than a place to live; it would be a safe place to plant dreams. This city is Sierra Madre, California.
In 2007, Sierra Madre in Los Angeles County, California was awarded the All-American City Award by the National Civic League. This fun and esteemed award is only given to ten communities annually. The award stands as recognition that a community not only comes together to handle problems but also that the community is home to citizens who work hand in hand to prove that there is still so much good in the world.
Almost everyone has seen the February, 1945 photograph entitled: Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima which depicts six U.S. military men lifting a 37-square-foot American flag atop the war-torn volcanic soil of Iwo Jima, Japan. Very few people, however, are aware of the history of that particular flag. In reality, a 22 year old California boy left his family and home in Sierra Madre to report to Pearl Harbor at the height of World War II. Before deploying to the Pacific, Alan Wood found the flag in a Navy depot and felt like it may be important. So, he tucked it into his belongings and headed off for what has often been described as the worst piece of the worst war the world has ever known. His intuition proved correct when the immortalized flag was finally raised on February 23.
Sierra Madre, also known as the “Village of the Foothills” is located west of Pasadena and just below the Angeles National forest in the San Gabriel Valley. As the home of less than 11,000 people, Sierra Madre is a quaint little city. It is the only city in Los Angeles County which still proudly uses a volunteer fire department.
By comparison to California as a whole, Sierra Madre was barely affected by the tragic 2008 market collapse. This is good news for the residents of this once wisteria covered city. Also, according to FBI crime statistics for 2010, Sierra Madre’s violent crime rate was 70.6% lower than the state average for the given population. Despite the small size of this town offers a variety of schools and ensures that all young residents have access to top of the line educations.
With rich history, safe streets, highly enjoyable community events and a strong spirit of togetherness, Sierra Madre is a hidden gem tucked away in the foothills. There are many different descriptions and titles of this little community, but one thing everyone always agrees on is that Sierra Madre is more than just a small town; it’s a home. It’s the place to enjoy today and plant dreams for the generation to come.
Sierra Madre Neighborhoods
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