Monday, May 31, 2010

Rolling Thunder Takes DC by Storm


Some Gave All...

In all the years I've lived in the DC area, I've never made it down to watch Rolling Thunder storm the Memorial Bridge & Constitution Avenue. Since my bucket isn't close to being filled, I thought I'd check one off by witnessing this mighty display of patriotism and Hog Power.

We live in a 'burb that has a couple low-budget motels, so the Memorial Day rumbling always starts a few days ahead of the weekend in our neighborhood, as the vets & their families congregate and rev their bikes up & down our main drag. I'd spent so many years getting a preview of this high-decibel parade, of sorts, that I thought I knew what I was in for.

Boy, was I wrong.

Start with the shear number of bikes~mostly Harleys~chugging over DC's Memorial Bridge from the Pentagon & Arlington Cemetery. I was down there for almost 3 hours, and the bikes were still coming over the Potomac. The first Rolling Thunder cavalcade, staged in 1987, featured 2,500. This year's estimates put them up at a quarter million~or more.

Continue with the mobs of folks lining the route, from spots near the bridge & the Lincoln Memorial, to the elbow-to-elbow throngs down Constitution Avenue and around to Independence, making a loop that ends up near Mr. Lincoln.

And end with the poignant shot of a young Marine, in full dress uniform, standing in the middle of 23rd Street, arm cocked in a continuous salute to those who served & who are still fighting for American POWs & the thousands declared Missing in Action.

What a way to make some noise for a worthy cause. Happy Memorial Day, y'all!


Oh Beautiful, for Spacious Skies

17 comments:

quilly said...

Here's to remembering that freedom isn't free. Happy Memorial Day.

ScoMan said...

My Uncle would love that. Maybe not the patriotism, because he isn't American, and he would find the "We love America" bit a bit over the top, but the bikes would be his style.

Cheryl said...

Wow! That must have been awesome to witness. I'd love to see it but I'd definitely be wearing my high-powered ear plugs. Even the small group of 100 or so that passes by each year to celebrate 4-July is too much for me. Them hogs is loud!

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I have a friend who is a Viet Nam vet who rides every year.

Here's hoping their efforts return every MIA and POW to the US.

Lucy said...

Wow, I have never heard of this;thanks for sharing. It sounds really cool!

Jeanie said...

What a great event for bringing the reason for Memorial Day front and center. I'm glad you got to see it.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Awesome post! Thank you for remembering our fallen heroes!!!

PS: You will have an award from me after 4pm today (it's a scheduled post, lol!)

Queenie Jeannie said...

I have seen similiar displays and it is amazing. There is one particular group that comes for any military funeral. Their patriotism rocks my world!!!

blueviolet said...

When they opened that WWII monument a few years back, they were there and it was amazing!

Tortuga said...

That had to have been an amazing spectacle. I would have loved to have seen it.

Kristin said...

How did I not know that existed? There are so many things I wish I had done and seen when I still lived in DC!

"Lillagul" said...

That was a lot of Bikes in that parade !
Have loved to see them :)
I think I would take my Harley for a ride this afternoon , if the weather stays nice.

MissKris said...

I would LOVE to see this some day!

Anonymous said...

I was there and it is such an emotional sight to witnis that it brings tears to your eyes. I lost a brother in wwll and every thing that anyone does to honor all who gave thier lives for us, is very specail.

lisaschaos said...

Very cool! Seems like a must do at least once!

Susie said...

That's the way it is in Milwaukee all the time:-) Hee, hee, hee.

miss jo said...

Superb Memorial Day coverage....I too always wanted to check out the Rolling Thunder arrival. What a tradition ! Superior snaps too !

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