Did You See the Pentagons Rose Parade Float Honoring Korean War Vets?

The Rose Parade float Freedom Is Not Free by the Korean War Commemoration Committee is seen in Pasadena during the final judging of floats on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 prior to the kick off of the 124th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. (AP)

The Defense Department paid tribute to veterans of the Korean War with its first-ever float in the 124th Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day parade.

The $247,000 flower-covered float, titled “Freedom Is Not Free,” is a replica of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It rolled through the streets of Pasadena, Calif. ahead of the 60th anniversary of the July 1953 armistice that halted the fighting.

Col. David Clark told the Associated Press that the Defense Department wanted to remind Americans about the sacrifices made in what has become known as “The Forgotten War.”

“As a nation, this may be our last opportunity to say `thank you’ to them and honor their service,” Clark, director of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, said of the war’s aging veterans.

Did You See the Pentagons Rose Parade Float Honoring Korean War Vets?

The float Freedom Is Not Free, sponsored by the Korean War Commemoration Committee, appears in the 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. , Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP)

The float won the National Trophy for best depiction of life in the U.S. Six veterans rode in it along the parade route, including 82-year-old author and actor James McEachin.

“I think it’s a magnificent gesture and it cures a lot of ills,” McEachin said.

Did You See the Pentagons Rose Parade Float Honoring Korean War Vets?

Vietnam veteran David Lacy works on Rose Parade float “Freedom Is Not Free” by the Korean War Commemoration Committee, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP)

Did You See the Pentagons Rose Parade Float Honoring Korean War Vets?

The Rose Parade float Freedom Is Not Free by the Korean War Commemoration Committee is seen as it is being worked on, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP)

Did You See the Pentagons Rose Parade Float Honoring Korean War Vets?

Korean War veteran James McEachin, 82, poses in front of the Rose Parade float Freedom Is Not Free by the Korean War Commemoration Committee, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. McEachin is scheduled to ride the float in the Rose Parade on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP)