Rolling Thunder rolls into town to honor veterans

Rolling Thunder riders gather before taking to the streets of the Washington area. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON – Memorial Day weekend will be a louder one around the Washington area but for a cause. This is the 26th year of Rolling Thunder’s annual D.C. rally when thousands and thousands of motorcycles descend upon the nation’s capital to get the attention of Congress about veteran issues.

“Rolling Thunder was formed to help the veterans of this country and to bring awareness to the POW/MIA issue,” says Gary Scheffmeyer, the organization’s national president.

He says the mission has been expanded as POWs and MIAs represent all wars They also ride to make sure that veterans are taken care of by fighting for their rights and benefits. And what began as a demonstration has now mushroomed into a major patriotic event.

Early Sunday morning, the riders will start gathering at the Pentagon Parking lot for their “Ride to Freedom” which begins at noon. As they start to ride, “you hear the crowd starting to cheer and you see all these people, eight, ten deep sometimes, it’s just incredible. You can’t believe there’s so much support out there for us,” he says.

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