Continued from page 1

More than 36,000 U.S. service members were killed in the conflict, and millions overall.

The government did not talk to troops at the time about how pivotal the war was in stopping communism. After the victory in World War II, the Korean conflict seemed to almost provoke shame for Americans, Mr. McEachin said.

The American public also felt no connection to the fighting in a faraway Asian country unlike during World War II, when airwaves filled with patriotic fight songs, he said.

Mr. McEachin returned not only to indifference but also discrimination as a black soldier.

After the plane carrying returning troops was delayed in Montana by snow, he was turned away from a hotel where his fellow white soldiers were staying.

Korea was the first conflict in which all U.S. military units were integrated racially. Col. Clark said the float’s veterans reflect that historical milestone.

Col. Clark said it’s important Americans learn the war’s history because the problem is ever-present, a point driven home by the heavily mined armistice line, a 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized strip stretching 135 miles across the peninsula.

“This serves as a reminder that there is unfinished business on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.