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Rolling Thunder XXV May 27, 2012: Gone but Not ForgottenCoral Anika Theill for 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!
(QUANTICO) - 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.
Nearly one million riders and spectators participate in the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day weekend demonstration held each year in Washington D.C. Rolling Thunder 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.
This year's demonstration in Washington D.C, Sunday, May 27, 2012, marks Rolling Thunder's 25th 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 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 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.
Bob and Jani Bergdahl, parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, will be featured speakers. They will speak during the May 27 program, which will also include appearances by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ); Commander Kirk S. Lippold, USN (Ret), the former commanding officer of the USS Cole (DDG-67); Lynn O'Shea, Director of Research for the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen, http://www.nationalalliance.org/vietnam/
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 and Connie Stevens, as well as perennial favorites Gordon Painter, Loch Rannoch Pipe & Drum, country artists Rockie Lynne and the Dean Crawford Dunn's River Band.
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/nationalmall/memorial.html on the National Mall.
Behind the Shades and Beneath the Leather
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.
HEAR THE THUNDER
As we prepared to mount our bikes,
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 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
Rolling Thunder®, Inc. 2012 Issues:
Live POW's: Rolling Thunder'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.
Related Links and Special Attractions
Official Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Website
Our website is dedicated to all veterans, past, present and future.
We understand the price that some have paid so that we can enjoy freedom.
"When one American is not worth the effort to be found, we as Americans have lost!"
18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Triangle, VA 22172
Museum will be open early at 7:00 am on May 27, 2012
Directions - Map http://www.usmcmuseum.com/visitor_location.asp
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall http://thewall-usa.com/
The 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.
_______________________________________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. Coral's positive insights as a survivor have also earned the respect of clinical therapists, advocates, attorneys, professors and authors. BONSHEA, has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College, Portland, Oregon.
"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. Please share my most recent articles: The Commandant of the Marine Corps on Post-TraumaticStress and Traumatic Brain Injury and Invisible Battle Scars: Confronting the Stigma of PTS and TBI http://www.woundedwarriorregiment.org/documents/pao/Leatherneck_Oct_PTS_TBI.pdf with friends and family." - Coral Anika Theill, Author, Advocate and Contributing Writer for Leatherneck Magazine Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of Coral's past military reports:
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