January 1, 2013 - Byoung Baek flew out from Rochester, N.Y., on Christmas Day for the Rose Parade. But she didn't come for the weather or the revelry or the spectacle.
She traveled to Pasadena to pay a debt she has owed for 60 years.
Baek was a youngster in South Korea when American troops helped preserve her fledgling nation's sovereignty by repelling communist-backed invaders from North Korea.The Korean American community helps decorate the float in honor of veterans' sacrifices in the 1950s conflict.
The war would last three years, from 1950 to 1953. Baek and other Koreans, children during the war, would spend decades steeped in its legacy.
"Our parents always talked about it," recalled Baek, 65, a registered nurse who moved to America 40 years ago. "They appreciated the [veterans'] sacrifice, their dedication to fight for our freedom." read more>>>
And also joining the Rose Bowl Parade
Decades of service by canines will be honored as four handlers and their dogs, representing the Air Force, Army and Marines, ride the float. The memorial is slated for completion in San Antonio by October 2013.
December 28, 2012 - In a cavernous warehouse on a recent weekday, Rose Parade volunteers were busy painting and clipping flowers as they rushed to complete their float in time for New Year's Day festivities. But all activity paused when the star of the decorated stage arrived.
With a Marine corporal in tow, Lucca, a German shepherd-Malinois mix, hopped curiously toward a group of excited children. Her head dipped from the weight of her body, no longer supported by her amputated left leg.
It's been nine months since Lucca lost her paw to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. A veteran of three combat deployments, she is one of thousands of U.S. military working dogs trained to sniff out booby traps, deliver messages and track enemies. She has led more than 200 missions, with no Marine ever injured under her patrol. read more>>>
The youngster ran across the street into his father’s arms as he recognized his dad and everyone was moved by the moment.
The wonderful reunion was part of the Natural Balance Pet Foods float. Miriam Pazz thought she won a contest to watch the parade with her son, but what she didn’t know is her husband would be there too. The soldier is a decorated military man who currently is serving in Afghanistan, but has also been to Iraq. read more>>>