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.