Thousands of motorcycles, many adorned with American flags, streamed out of the Pentagon and drove to D.C. Sunday afternoon for the annual “Rolling to Remember” demonstration ride.
The ride, which took the place of “Rolling Thunder” after its final event in 2019, is about remembering those missing in action and prisoners of war from the Vietnam War.
“What we’re trying to do is … bring awareness for the people that are still out there,” said Doug Carter, a participant and Air Force veteran from Sumter, South Carolina.
As the bikes left, people lined roadsides and overpasses to cheer on participants. Some waved flags, and others waved their hands. Their gestures were acknowledged by the honking of motorcycle horns and revving of engines.
For Warren of Cleveland, Ohio, who didn’t want to give his last name, the Rolling to Remember ride and its predecessor, Rolling Thunder, has been a personal tradition for many years. He said it’s an emotional experience to see the sidewalks lined with people who all come out to thank the riders for doing this.
“If you don’t have alligator tears running down your cheeks, there’s something wrong,” he said.
Road closures were put in place so the riders, guided by police, could easily get from the Pentagon’s north parking lot to the National Mall.
For Tina Heebner of Reston, Virginia, Sunday marked her first ride in an event like this. She said she participated this Memorial Day weekend to honor those who have served.
“My dad served [and] a lot of [my friends] have served, so it’s really meaningful to be a part of something to let their families know that we haven’t forgotten,” Heebner said.
The event was organized by AMVETS. The organization says its goal is to shed light on the number of deaths by suicide involving current and former service members.
Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.
© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.