/ The DC Traveler
Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on June 1, 2010 at 8:27 am
Filed under: Events, holiday, Memorial Day

Rolling Thunder Booms into DC for Missing Vets

As the nation remembers and pays tribute to Americans killed in military service, Rolling Thunder, the annual motorcycle rally and caravan on the National Mall in Washington DC brings attention to POWs and MIA from Vietnam and all other wars since, as well as the supporting veterans groups, veterans care and families of vets who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Rolling Thunder DC 2010Dress Marine Roilling Thunder

The attendees vary as much as their motorcycles, from tricked out Harleys to sleek pocket rockets.  Some were vintage, both the bikes and the riders; some were younger, including one soldier waiting to be deployed to Iraq in the next month.  A few of the notable bikes included a couple 3-wheelers, one a 4-seater that used the rear half of a classic late-1960s Ford Mustang, and another that incorporated a VW Carmen Ghia.

An estimated 300,000 bikers and supporters were on hand as a 3-hour stream of thousands and thousands of bikers took a noisy lap around the National Mall.

Rolling Thunder SignSaluting Vet

Some wore patriotic attire, others attached American and MIA-POW flags to their bikes. One Marine wore his dress blues. While some were in attendance only to enjoy the comradely of other bikers, most attended to keep focus on the nearly 1,800 missing soldiers from the Vietnam War who are still unaccounted for.

The Library of Congress maintains database designed to assist researchers and family members in accessing U.S. Government documents relating to unaccounted-for U.S> military personnel from the Vietnam war.

Many of the vets wore “I Served-Vietnam” to indentify themselves of Vietnam Vets. Others wore black leather vests with patches and pins reflecting their military branch or unit.  Relatives of active soldiers also showed their support with stickers that stated things such as “Marine Mom,” or “Niece in the Army.”

Marine Mom Rolling Thunder Biker with Flags

Biker at Rolling Thunder 2010

Images – from personal collection   ©2010, Jon Rochetti

Tags: Events, holiday, Memorial Day

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