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Rolling Thunder XXVI May 26, 2013: Until They Are HomeCoral Anika Theill Salem-News.com
Always remember our troops serving, those who have borne the battle and those who gave their lives for us so we can live free!
(WASHINGTON DC) - Few things are more "American" than the roar of hundreds of thousands of bikers from all over the nation riding through Washington D.C. to the sound of cheering, flag waving supporters of our POW/MIA's and veterans. Each year bikers from all over the world and all walks of life join together to honor the more than 58,000 who gave their lives in the Vietnam War and the countless number left behind.
Behind the Shades and Beneath the Leather
Nearly one million riders and spectators participate in the Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Memorial Day weekend demonstration held each year in Washington D.C. Rolling Thunder®, Inc. has evolved to be not only a demonstration for the POW/MIA issue but also a demonstration of patriotism and respect for soldiers and veterans from all wars. More than any other event, "Ride for Freedom" gives everyone the opportunity to proudly show their gratitude for all of our freedoms and their love and respect for the veterans who have fought for us.
Those who ride in the Rolling Thunder®, Inc. demonstration each year are from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. They join in solidarity to honor the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend our great country. It is a time to reflect upon our freedom which so many have died to protect.
This year's demonstration in Washington D.C, Sunday, May 26, 2013, marks Rolling Thunder®, Inc.’s 26th Anniversary. The purpose of this demonstration is to bring awareness to the government so full accountability can be achieved for all Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA) from all wars. Rolling Thunder began in 1987 as a demonstration to bring awareness to the plight of prisoners of war (POW) and to those missing in action (MIA). Since Rolling Thunder®, Inc. started, our government has recovered the following numbers of remains: WWI-6, WWII-240, Korean War-73, Vietnam War-697, Gulf War-14 and Iraq War-3 with seven live POW's returned from this war.
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is asking members and the public to remember Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl from Idaho, who was captured in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. Sgt. Bergdahl is the only known living American POW in Afghanistan. (see: Bob Bergdahl, Father of Current POW, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl Speaks Out
JPAC With the support and cooperation of the host countries, JPAC conducts a global, humanitarian mission to search, recover, and conduct laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts. Falling directly under the U.S. Pacific Command and employing more than 500 joint military and civilian personnel, JPAC continues its search for the fullest possible accounting of Americans still unaccounted for from past conflicts. "Until They Are Home"
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI 8), Rep. Jon Runyan (NJ-3), LTC Andras Marton, Lynn O’Shea and Nikki Mendicino will be featured speakers on May 26th.
In addition to the speakers, a lineup of celebrity entertainers is slated to provide a fitting musical tribute, including long-time veterans' supporters and internationally renowned entertainers Nancy Sinatra, Loch Rannoch Pipes & Drums Band, Gordon Painter, J.D. Micals and Rockie Lynne.
Everyone is welcome. The best viewing spots are along the Arlington Memorial Bridge and Constitution Avenue. You can also pay tribute to America's war heroes by visiting the monuments and memorials http://www.worldtourist.us/
Rolling Thunder®, Inc.'s major function is to publicize the POW-MIA issue; to educate the public that many American prisoners of War were left behind after all past wars; and to help correct the past and to protect the future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action. Rolling Thunder, Inc. is also committed to helping disabled veterans from all wars. Their members are veterans, non-veterans and/or motorcyclists, but anyone can participate in the demonstration or become a member of this incredible organization as long as you believe in the issue.
WHY WE RIDE - They were our brothers, sisters, our buddies and our heroes. We don't want their memories to fade. Used by permission: Photo Credits: Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Photographer Patrick J. Hughes (Photos from 2012 Rolling Thunder Memorial Day weekend demonstration)
"WE STILL SERVE"
by Thomas Farrell
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. History
Rolling Thunder®, Inc., began as a demonstration following the era of the Vietnam War, which was a difficult time in America's history. Similar to today's political climate, our nation was divided over issues of peace and war. However, many of America's military were killed or missing in action and their remains were not being brought home to be respectfully buried and honored. In 1988, veterans of the Vietnam War rallied together their families, fellow veterans, and veterans' advocates to organize a demonstration at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC during the Memorial Day weekend. They announced their arrival with the roar of their Harley-Davidsons, a sound not unlike the 1965 bombing campaign against North Vietnam dubbed Operation Rolling Thunder. A title that would endure time and be trademarked in 1990. Approximately 2500 motorcycles participated in this rally, demanding that the U.S. government account for all POW/MIA's. The group became known as Rolling Thunder®, Inc. and each year since has held an annual "Ride for Freedom" to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.History and Meaning of the POW/MIA Flag
America is Waiting for You! Sergeant Bowe R. Bergdahl
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. 2012 Issues:
Live POW's: Rolling Thunder®, Inc.’s most important issue is the men who were left behind alive after all past wars! They still search for bones and do nothing to resolve what happened to those left behind alive! Why do we not ask these countries to search for last known alive? Honesty could help with better relations for everyone.
SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013
Pentagon Parking Lot - 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Rolling Thunder XXVI - Departure to Washington, D.C. – 12:00 p.m.
Rolling Thunder Speakers Program - Approximately 1:30 p.m.
Speakers: Rep. Reid Ribble(R-W-8), Rep. Jon Runyan(R-NJ 3), LTC Andras Marton, Lynn O’Shea and Nikki Mendicino.
Musical Tribute to Veterans - Approx 3:00 p.m.
Nancy Sinatra, Loch Rannoch Pipes & Drums Band, Gordon Painter, J.D. Micals and Rockie Lynne
For additional information go to www.rollingthunder1.org
Everyone is Welcome!
Related Links and Special Attractions
The Story behind one of the most unusual items ever left at the Vietnam Veterans
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall USA website is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam War. Since it first went on line in 1996 it has evolved into something more. It is now also a place of healing for those affected by one of the most divisive wars in our nation's history.
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Photographer Patrick J. Hughes http://patrickjhughes.org/
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall http://thewall-usa.com/
Coral Anika Theill, reporter and advocate, is author of BONSHEA - Making Light of the Dark. Her published works address abuse, trauma recovery and healing from post-traumatic stress and most recently, wounded Marines, the Warrior Games and Montford Point Marines. Her writings have encouraged and inspired numerous trauma victims and wounded Marines/soldiers recovering from PTS and TBI. Coral's positive insights as a survivor have also earned the respect of clinical therapists, advocates, attorneys, professors and authors. Her memoir, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark, has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College, Portland, Oregon. email@example.com
"Those who serve may already know the toll of having to kill or be killed, but civilian society should also recognize that those who go into battle defending our way of life pay a price. As a non-military writer researching the subject of Marines and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide Prevention, I feel a deep gratitude to our servicemen and women and believe our society needs to do more to respect, understand and support those returning from deployment in conflict zones.” – Coral Anika Theill
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