Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A brush with history

Older Daughter called yesterday (Monday). As you might recall, she works as a nanny in New Jersey, and frequently on weekends will travel down to Virginia to visit her friend GG. She was on her way back from that visit when she called to chat. I put her on speaker phone so Don could hear the conversation as well.

During our phone call, she related an interesting anecdote. On Sunday morning, she and GG were going to go do something after church, so they drove in separately from GG's parents, with the idea everyone would meet up at church. During the drive, Older Daughter noticed a LOT of police officers around; and whenever they drove under an overpass, they noticed crowds of people on the bridges, with flags and banners. What was going on?

But they didn't think much about it. They got to church and reserved some seats for GG's parents -- who never showed up, even though they only left the house five minutes after Older Daughter and GG. Where could they be?

Eventually, halfway through church, GG got a text from her parents saying the highway -- the same four-lane highway Older Daughter had just driven five minutes ahead -- was now CLOSED for some huge event that would shortly take place. All within that five-minute time gap. What event would close a four-lane highway?

"Rolling Thunder," Don called from the other room.

Rolling Thunder, it seems, is a massive -- as in, hundreds of thousands of participants -- motorcycle rally consisting of veterans and veteran supporters which descends on Washington D.C. every Memorial Day weekend. I'd never really paid attention to it before because I'm not into motorcycles, but it's been going on for years and years and years. According to their website, "All [participants] are united in the cause to bring full accountability for the Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action (POW/MIA) of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords: 'We Will Not Forget.'"

Wow. Just ... wow.

This would explain the extra law enforcement presence Older Daughter and GG saw, as well as the crowds of people lining the overpasses.

Now for an interesting "rest of the story." Apparently this was anticipated to be Rolling Thunder's final ride into Washington D.C., citing expenses and harassment. According to the New York Post, reasons to discontinue the rally included "the Pentagon Security Police/Washington Police officials continued lack of cooperation, increased harassment to our supporters and sponsors. ... Rolling Thunder is poised to keep losing money on the rally due to demands from the Pentagon for extra security, among other issues."

But President Trump threw in his support, and now it looks like the rally will continue. "Good for Trump," said Younger Daughter, when Don relayed that information.

I told Older Daughter she just had a faint brush with history.

Roll on, Rolling Thunder. What an awesome spectacle.


  1. If anybody wants to read about the dark side of the POW issue, I'd suggest spending some time reading this: http://www.unz.com/article/mccain-and-the-pow-cover-up/?highlight=mccain+POW It was certainly enlightening to me.

  2. An awesome event. I hope to see it someday. Even if they don't repeat the ride in D.C., the event leader (I forget his name) has vowed it's not the end, but a new beginning. There will be rides across the nation, at many chapters, so MORE Americans can appreciate it. Let's hope it is so.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  3. Very cool. It is always interesting the brushes we have with larger events.

  4. This event is worth supporting. These men and women come from all over this great nation. You can actually watch the progress and join in as they come from each state. There is usually some little headline that will alert you to when a group is ride to DC through your state. That alone is something to see and go out and support. But to be there in person is life changing. Just to see them gather at the Pentagon is unreal. Thousand upon thousands.Rolling Thunder does so much more and they are worthy of any support you give them.

  5. Rolling Thunder is so amazing! I haven't heard that they are officially coming back, but I hope so. It is an amazing event.

  6. A former coworker and her husband always took part in this, until his health declined.