'Rolling Thunder' Honors U.S.
Military With Annual Biker Pilgrimage
It's hog heaven in the nation's capital.
President George W. Bush shares
a laugh with National Executive Director of Rolling Thunder Artie Muller
as he escorts a group of the motorcyle riders to the Oval Office. White
House photo by Chris Greenberg
Fox News. Washington DC. Sunday, May 25, 2008. For the 21st year in a
row, Rolling Thunder roared into Washington, D.C., on Sunday for its
annual veterans tribute, bringing together an estimated 350,000
motorcyclists — along with thousands of activists, fans and
Bikers from the group's 88 chapters —across the country and overseas—
came together to bring attention to U.S. service members held captive or
missing in action.
Riders took off on their rumbling "Ride For Freedom," driving from the
Pentagon, across the Potomac River by way of the Memorial Bridge and on
to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
President George W. Bush poses
for a photo with National Executive Director of Rolling Thunder Artie
Muller at the conclusion of a visit by the motorcycle grooup to the
White House. White House photo by Chris Greenberg
The party-like atmosphere was punctuated by speeches, tributes and
music. Actor John Amos, who read Gen. Colin Powell's "A Letter to a
Soldier" lent his voice to the cause.
"This is the most important gathering I have ever been apart of. I share
their convictions that all these men and woman must be accounted for. We
live in the greatest country in the world, and a gathering like this
confirms that we have have more freedom," Amos said.
President Bush also met with some of the group's organizers, and
described the parade of motorcycles — many adorned with the American
flag — as "a magnificent sight. "I am just so honored, and I want to
thank you and all your comrades for being patriotic and loving our
country as much as you do," said Bush.
Organizers then presented President Bush with a leather biker's vest and
Rolling Thunder 21, along with honoring the families of fallen and
missing service members, are advocating for the fair treatment of
veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.