This year marked the organization’s 27th anniversary demonstration in support of POW/MIA and veterans’ issues. Friday, May 23rd began with a visit to the Washington National Cathedral with the church hosting a special “Blessing of the Bikes” to honor those who have served and to provide a place of healing for veterans. The Candlelight vigil took place at the Vietnam Wall where Gold Star Mothers were escorted by the Flame of Freedom to honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to their country and those still missing or held prisoner. On Saturday, members of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. visited the VA Medical Center and sang songs led by Gordon Painter for an enjoyable afternoon. Also on Saturday, a wreath was presented at the Navy Memorial and Harley-Davidson of Washington held a free barbeque. Speaker Myke Shelby, an Air Force Veteran and owner of San Diego Harley-Davidson received the first Michael Cobb Memorial Award, Saturday night at the Hospitality Room, for his work with Veterans.
Sunday, May 25th an estimated 800,000 motorcyclists took part in the annual “Ride for Freedom” from the Pentagon parking lots to the National Mall with supporters lining the streets giving this demonstration an estimated total of over one million. Gerry Walter a former WWII POW and his wife, first time participants, rode in a restored Ford Model “A” car owned by Gregg Hanke.
The stage area by the Reflecting Pool was filled with supporters to the top step of the Lincoln Memorial. The keynote speaker was Dorothy Woods, wife of former Navy Seal Tyrone Woods who was killed in the Benghazi attack, also Veteran’s advocate Nikki Mendicino; and other supporters of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. and the POW/MIA issue. Celebrity entertainers provided a fitting musical tribute which included the Loch Rannoch Pipes & Drums Band, perennial favorite Gordon Painter, Ben Mason, 6th Generation and Rockie Lynne.
Rolling Thunder®, Inc., a 501(c)(4) non-profit Veterans organization incorporated in 1995, by National Director Sgt. Artie Muller, to seek accountability for all POW/MIA’s from past wars and to promote the needs of Veterans. National membership is comprised of Veterans from all wars and peacetime with 40-45% of members being non-veterans. There are currently over 95 chartered Rolling Thunder®, Inc. chapters throughout the United States. Although many members ride motorcycles, a person does not have to own or ride a motorcycle to be a member.
The Rolling Thunder®, Inc. National logo depicting a bald eagle whose leg is chained to a map of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, illustrates the Rolling Thunder®, Inc. mission of being tied to American Veterans who are Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing In Action (MIA). The Rolling Thunder®, Inc. logo must not be altered in any way. No additional typography or images can be added to any Rolling Thunder®, Inc. logo or trademark. Prior to using any Rolling Thunder®, Inc. logo trademark, you must request and receive permission from the Rolling Thunder®, Inc. National. Persons or entities which use Rolling Thunder®, Inc. logo or registered trademarks without permission are subject to civil and criminal penalties pursuant to trademark law. Rolling Thunder®, Inc. intends to protect its trademarks and associated goodwill to the fullest extent of the law.
SOURCE Rolling Thunder, Inc.