Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Home Lead Story 'Rolling Thunder'- An Event to Honor American Prisoners of War, Roars for...

‘Rolling Thunder’- An Event to Honor American Prisoners of War, Roars for Last Time

The cyclists usually meet up in the Pentagon parking lot and ride into downtown Washington across the various bridges spanning the Potomac River

Thousands of motorcycles roared into Washington Sunday for what organizers say will be the last Rolling Thunder in the nation’s capital.

The annual Memorial Day tradition is meant to draw attention to more than 83,000 U.S. military personnel still listed as Missing in Action from World War I through the recent fighting in Iraq. They also include 126 people believed missing from operations related to the Cold War.

The first Rolling Thunder was held in 1988. The cyclists usually meet up in the Pentagon parking lot and ride into downtown Washington across the various bridges spanning the Potomac River. But Rolling Thunder Executive Director Artie Muller said this is the last year he will hold the ride in Washington.

Muller said he has grown frustrated with the Pentagon bureaucracy in coordinating the event. Mueller said sponsors, vendors and others have not been given access to parking lots even though Rolling Thunder said it paid “exorbitant permit fees.”

For many people, the group’s decades-long presence with the loud roar of their motorcycle engines has become synonymous with Memorial Day activities in Washington. But President Donald Trump says Rolling Thunder is always welcome in the city.

“The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder will be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, and hopefully for many years to come. It is where they want to be and where they should be,” Trump tweeted as he thanked the “great men & women of the Pentagon for working it out.”

rolling thunder
Rolling Thunder executive director Artie Muller, center, is seen with fellow motorcyclists at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, outside of Washington, May 26, 2019. VOA

Muller has not given any immediate response to Trump’s tweet. In an interview with VOA, Muller said Rolling Thunder is “willing to talk” with the president. But despite the president’s postings on Twitter, Muller said, “I think we really want to go nationwide” with local chapters holding their own observations on Memorial Day.

ALSO READ: Circus Maximus Experience Offers Visitors to Relive Imperial Period of Rome through Virtual Reality

Muller said the annual trek to the nation’s capital is becoming too much for some Rolling Thunder members.”We’re all getting old and can’t ride that far,” he said. For members who come from the West Coast, Muller said, “It a haul. You’re talking 2 to 3,000 miles . . . That takes a lot out of you.”

Pentagon figures show 83,000 American military personnel remain unaccounted for. Most of them — about 73,000 — are from World War II. Upwards of 7,700 are from the Korean War, and more than 1,600 are from the Vietnam War. (VOA)



Most Popular

Pakistan Stops Construction of Hindu Temple At Islamabad

By Alisha Late June, news circulated that Islamabad was all set to build its first Hindu temple to promote interfaith harmony in Pakistan. Pakistan’s government...

Here’s How you can Manage Flu at Home

The monsoon has begun, and while it brings relief from summer heat it also brings perils of humidity. With the rain showers comes the...

Top Selection Criteria for a Voltage Stabilizer

In our power grids, voltage fluctuation is a common phenomenon. But it also is a concerning one as it can harm sensitive electrical appliances...

Dalai Lama Turns 85, Tibetans Dedicate Year 2020 to him

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as Tibetan government-in-exile, on Monday announced to dedicate this year...

Here’s What to Expect When You Catch a Flight from the Airport

Hustling sounds, frequent announcements, savvy travelers glued to their gadgets, emotional families waiting to receive or see-off their loved ones-- it's perhaps the opening...

A Must have Adventure Bucket List

The worldwide lockdown due to coronavirus has brought a screeching halt to every industry, including the travel and hospitality. With restrictions on international travel...

Picture Perfect Living Room Decor Ideas

A cosy and comfortable sofa set, a coffee table for tete-a-tete and a perfect TV unit to keep the entertainment mode on, all these...

‘Covid’ Now the most Searched Word of 2020

The term 'Covid' - the commonly used shorthand for Covid-19 or Coronavirus disease caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus - is the top word...

Recent Comments