Rolling Thunder Run is courtesy listed by RNA.
Rolling Thunder’s mission is to educate, facilitate, and never forget by means of a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War. Rolling Thunder has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.
FIRST AMENDMENT DEMONSTRATION RUN
The Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run is an annual ride and gathering that first started in 1988. Riders from around the nation, and even around the world rally in the Pentagon parking lots and begin the run through the streets of Washington, D.C. Afterward, it is an opportunity to meet old and new friends, pay respect at the memorials and participate in the Memorial Day events.
Our mission also includes legislative efforts. Rolling Thunder strives to affect national policy in a way that will assist POW/MIA’s. We wrote, got introduced and passed, the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1993. In 1987, Corporal Ray Manzo USMC 1967-69, visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC and stopped at a booth to talk with fellow veterans. He learned for the first time that American servicemen had been abandoned in Southeast Asia and the end of the Vietnam War.
This idea was counter to his Marine Corps training to “Leave No Man Behind” and he became consumed with the idea that he must do something to bring attention to this issue and “make right a terrible wrong.” Ray attended a POW/MIA vigil sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club when the idea came to him: He would host a motorcycle rally in the nation’s capital to show the country and the world that our Prisoner’s Of War and Missing In Action still mattered to their fellow servicemen and the country for which they sacrificed their freedom. But it was Ted Sampley’s colleague, Bob Schmitt, who coined the phrase. He was staring at the Memorial Bridge and envisioning Manzo’s dream and simply blurted out, ”It will be like the sound of rolling thunder coming across the bridge” — a sound not unlike the 1965 bombing campaign against North Vietnam named Operation Rolling Thunder.
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally (Official Video)
Uploaded on May 25, 2009
A music video tribute of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally on Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC. This is the official video used by Rolling Thunder to help bring awareness to the issue of POW/MIAs.
Producer Steve Skemp, HD Canvas Media LLC