It’s 6 am in Washington, DC and I am waking up to the rumble of motorcycles – the sound that is credited in giving this political demonstration the name Rolling Thunder now in its 25th year. Over 500 000 motorcycles are expected to be a part of this momentous event, all to show support for troops past and present. Rolling Thunder is not just about bringing awareness to the Missing in Action and Prisoners of War. Rolling Thunder fights for many issues in regards to our fighting men and women including helping returning troops avoid foreclosure, fighting for retired Military so they can get free health care, which they were promised and are now being asked to pay for.
We are still at war! Did you know that? Or has it slipped into the background noise, overtaken by NBA playoffs, the Avengers and who won American Idol?
CNN.com, this AM, reported the news “U.S. sailor is 3 000 Afghanistan war death“. Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan J. Wilson, 26, is the 3000 death of the coalition forces and 1,974th U.S. death in the war in Afghanistan. We are very much still at war and young Americans are still dying. Rolling Thunder is about soldiers past and present, about Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl who is MIA (missing since July, 2009) and about Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan J. Wilson, who just lost his life.
Do you remember the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas? The protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers with signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” and “God Hates Fags.” Rolling Thunder is at the heart of the ‘Respect for Fallen Heroes Act’, enacted to keep protesters 300 feet from the entrance of a cemetery hosting a military funeral.
Rolling Thunder is not a motorcycle rally or a motorcycle parade – it is a political demonstration that will keep all the issues of our fighting soldiers, past and present, in the public eye, so those in power and you and I never forget. As long as we have MIA, POW’s, young men and women overseas at war, Vets that need medical care, returning soldiers losing homes to the bank, etc, every Memorial Day Weekend – Washington, DC will continue to hear Rolling Thunder’s roar.
This beautiful long weekend while you are turning on the BBQ, heading to the beach or checking out the NBA final – think for a moment about Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl who is MIA, about his family who don’t know where their son is, and for Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan J. Wilson, who will see no more tomorrows. He died for our freedom.
Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom – Sunday May 27th 2012.