Rolling Thunder Ride: Motorcyclists from across nation arrive in DC to honor Memorial Day

One veteran said the ride is make D.C. aware there are still more prisoners or war and they all need to be brought home. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
One veteran said the ride is to make D.C. aware there are still more prisoners or war and they all need to be brought home. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon’s parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon’s parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon’s parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon’s parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Riders from as far away as Canada came to Fairfax to take part in the Patriot Ride before heading to the Pentagon for Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen)
Riders from as far away as Canada came to Fairfax to take part in the Patriot Ride before heading to the Pentagon for Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
Thousands of motorcycles in front of the Pentagon waiting for the start of the 31st Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. "This is beyond belief," said one veteran in from Rhode Island. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Thousands of motorcycles in front of the Pentagon waiting for the start of the 31st Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. “This is beyond belief,” said one veteran in from Rhode Island. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
"All the people here are vets or honor vets," said Ken Rudder, a Navy veteran from Rhode Island taking part in his first Rolling Thunder ride. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
“All the people here are vets or honor vets,” said Ken Rudder, a Navy veteran from Rhode Island taking part in his first Rolling Thunder ride. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Motorcycles line up at the Pentagon ahead of the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Motorcycles line up at the Pentagon ahead of the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

It’s a sea of motorcycles here at the Pentagon @WTOP #MemorialDayWeekend #RollingThunder pic.twitter.com/eiE0Fj8MNC

— Melissa Howell (@Mhowell003) May 27, 2018

Rolling Thunder Event for #MemorialDay hundreds of vets and motorcyclists @WTOP pic.twitter.com/rDNFtFf8IC

— Melissa Howell (@Mhowell003) May 27, 2018
Bikers ahead of the Ride of the Patriots to the Pentagon on Route 50 in Fairfax, Virginia. The riders here, and thousands of others, will join Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen)
Bikers ahead of the Ride of the Patriots to the Pentagon on Route 50 in Fairfax, Virginia. The riders here, and thousands of others, will join Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
A view from Route 50 in Fairfax as thousands of bikers prepare to head out to the Pentagon to join Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen)
A view from Route 50 in Fairfax as thousands of bikers prepare to head out to the Pentagon to join Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
Motorcyclists from the across the nation are in the District for the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Motorcyclists from the across the nation are in the District for the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Each Memorial Day weekend, bikers salute military veterans and remember those who did not come home. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Each Memorial Day weekend, bikers salute military veterans and remember those who did not come home. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rolling Thunder was established in 1987 to call attention to any prisoners of war or those listed as missing in action. Riders said they are also committed to helping U.S. veterans from all wars. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rolling Thunder was established in 1987 to call attention to any prisoners of war or those listed as missing in action. Riders said they are also committed to helping U.S. veterans from all wars. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rows of bikes were lined up Saturday afternoon in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, while other riders toured the sites rumbling down Constitution Avenue and around Capitol Hill. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rows of bikes were lined up Saturday afternoon in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, while other riders toured the sites rumbling down Constitution Avenue and around Capitol Hill. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
"It's a very heartwarming, intense feeling because I'm a veteran of Desert Storm … When we come together as riders, we are family, no matter what's on your back, no matter what you're riding," said Tina Flood, an Army veteran from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
“It’s a very heartwarming, intense feeling because I’m a veteran of Desert Storm … When we come together as riders, we are family, no matter what’s on your back, no matter what you’re riding,” said Tina Flood, an Army veteran from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Many of the bikes fly American flags or the black and white POW/MIA flag, which features the silhouette of a bowed head and the words, "You Are Not Forgotten." (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Many of the bikes fly American flags or the black and white POW/MIA flag, which features the silhouette of a bowed head and the words, “You Are Not Forgotten.” (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
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One veteran said the ride is make D.C. aware there are still more prisoners or war and they all need to be brought home. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers arriving at the Pentagon's parking lot ahead of Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Riders from as far away as Canada came to Fairfax to take part in the Patriot Ride before heading to the Pentagon for Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen)
Thousands of motorcycles in front of the Pentagon waiting for the start of the 31st Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. "This is beyond belief," said one veteran in from Rhode Island. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
"All the people here are vets or honor vets," said Ken Rudder, a Navy veteran from Rhode Island taking part in his first Rolling Thunder ride. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Motorcycles line up at the Pentagon ahead of the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Bikers ahead of the Ride of the Patriots to the Pentagon on Route 50 in Fairfax, Virginia. The riders here, and thousands of others, will join Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen)
A view from Route 50 in Fairfax as thousands of bikers prepare to head out to the Pentagon to join Rolling Thunder. (WTOP/John Domen)
Motorcyclists from the across the nation are in the District for the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Each Memorial Day weekend, bikers salute military veterans and remember those who did not come home. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rolling Thunder was established in 1987 to call attention to any prisoners of war or those listed as missing in action. Riders said they are also committed to helping U.S. veterans from all wars. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rows of bikes were lined up Saturday afternoon in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, while other riders toured the sites rumbling down Constitution Avenue and around Capitol Hill. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
"It's a very heartwarming, intense feeling because I'm a veteran of Desert Storm … When we come together as riders, we are family, no matter what's on your back, no matter what you're riding," said Tina Flood, an Army veteran from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Many of the bikes fly American flags or the black and white POW/MIA flag, which features the silhouette of a bowed head and the words, "You Are Not Forgotten." (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

WASHINGTON — Motorcyclists from the across the nation are in the District for the 31st annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom.

Many more bikers will be coming in from across the D.C. area in convoys to pay tribute to military veterans and remember those who gave their lives in service.

The group is set to ride from the Pentagon to the National Mall at noon Sunday but bikers heading to the event could cause some delays on roadways as most major roads will see convoys of motorcycles heading to the event.

Rolling Thunder was established in 1987 to call attention to any prisoners of war or those listed as missing in action. Riders said they are also committed to helping U.S. veterans from all wars.

“This is beyond belief,” said Ken Rudder, a Navy veteran from Rhode Island. “All the people here are vets or honoring vets.”

Rudder has been riding for years, but this was his first time at Rolling Thunder.

By 9 a.m. on Sunday, the Pentagon was a sea of motorcycles. Rows of bikes were lined up as early as Saturday afternoon in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, while other riders toured the sites rumbling down Constitution Avenue and around Capitol Hill.

“It’s a very heartwarming, intense feeling because I’m a veteran of Desert Storm … When we come together as riders, we are family, no matter what’s on your back, no matter what you’re riding,” said Tina Flood, an Army veteran from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

Many of the bikes fly American flags or the black and white POW/MIA flag, which features the silhouette of a bowed head and the words, “You Are Not Forgotten.”

“This is a tribute to all the fighting men and women of the United States, the sacrifices they made, and it’s to honor them,” said John Santillo of Vernon, New Jersey.

WTOP’s Patrick Roth contributed to this report.


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