Rolling Thunder 2008

Rolling Thunder 2008
Photo by dbking

The skies are bright with sunshine, but the streets of Washington, DC roar with thunder. Rolling Thunder is back. The annual motorcycle event, originally conceived to draw attention to the plight of Vietnam-era POWs and MIAs, has grown into a roaring tribute to all America’s veterans.

Contingents of cyclists have come from across the country, and salutes roared past armed service monuments yesterday. The largest tribute starts at Noon Sunday, starting at Arlington Cemetery, crossing the Potomac over beautiful Memorial Bridge, circling the National Mall, and stopping near the Vietnam Memorial, where many will quietly look for the names of fallen comrades and relatives. Music and oratory will complete the afternoon.

Rolling Thunder Route

Many Washingtonians bring cameras to the DC end of Memorial Bridge, but hesitate to photograph dismounted riders at the Vietnam Memorial — it feels emotionally wrong, an invasion of privacy.

In contrast to Rolling Thunder, Sunday’s official Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol grounds seems woefully contrived. A Capitol Hill secret: the concert rehearsal was Saturday night, and not as stuffy as the Sunday affair. If you go the concert, please don’t gun your bike during the recitations.

2 Responses to “Rolling Thunder 2008”

  1. The Human Voice of War « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] the past three days, Americans have commemorated and reflected on the human cost of war, remembering those lost in combat on behalf of our country. […]

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Update: Flickr has some great photos of Rolling Thunder 2008 (as well as prevoius years), notably those of Schmiddi.

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