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!