Colleagues of a Marine Corps reservist and Los Angeles Police Department officer killed in by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan were at an emotional ceremony Thursday to name an intersection after a man who devoted his life to serving Southern California and the nation.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Cullins was remembered Thursday as a hero and protector by speakers at the ceremony before sign was unveiled, naming the intersection of Quakertown Avenue and Gault Street in Winnetka to “Joshua Cullins Way.”
WHAT TO KNOW
Joshua Cullins, a Marine Corps reservist and LAPD officer from Simi Valley, was killed in 2010 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan
A member of an ordnance disposal company in the Camp Pendleton-based I Marine Expeditionary Force, he was on his second tour of duty
The intersection of Quakertown Avenue and Gault Street in Winnetka is now “Joshua Cullins Way”
“He will live forever in all of us,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “That’s what this sign is about.”
Cullins, who was from Simi Valley, served in the Marine Corps for a decade, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, then joined the LAPD after becoming a reservist. He was killed in action by an improvised explosive device on Oct. 19, 2010, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province during Operation Enduring Freedom.
A member of an ordnance disposal company in the Camp Pendleton-based I Marine Expeditionary Force, the 28-year-old Cullins was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
He had two days left in the field as an explosive ordinance disposal technician when he was killed while investigating a roadside bomb near Marja. A secondary explosion was set off as he investigated an earlier blast. Cullins, who was expected to be home for Christmas, planned to join the LAPD bomb squad when he returned.
Cullins was an active member of the Winnetka community with strong ties to St. Martin’s School, which both his younger brothers attended. The intersection to be named after Cullins is adjacent to the school and was chosen because he regularly joined students in the classroom to talk about his service and the importance of giving back to the community.
The ceremony featured the presentation of the colors by a USMC Honor Guard, music from the LAPD Emerald Society, a performance of the national anthem by LAPD Officer Rosaline Curry, and a flyover by the Condor Squadron, a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1965 by World War II fighter pilots and flies prop-driven World War II AT-6 training planes at parades, memorial services and other commemorative events.
A special sign was unveiled and a dedication certificate presented to Cullins’ mother.
Memorial services were held for Cullins on Nov. 3, 2010, at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.