Create a Memorial Day Rolling Thunder event

for Whidbey Island & the Pacific Northwest.


Photo’s below are from the Official Rolling Thunder event in Washington DC.

Gwen’s idea of a perfect day!

Memorial Bridge facing Arlington Cemetery – Opening Helio Fly Over – waiting for the protesters to depart the Pentagon parking lot (where they assemble at 9am) and come thundering down the George Washington Hwy, past Arlington Cemetery across Memorial Bridge to the Viet Nam, Korean, Nurses, WWII and WWI (small little memorial a lot of people miss) memorials.  I (Gwen) attended 16 consecutive Rolling Thunder Memorial Days in DC.  Each was like the first!  Overwhelming pride and reflection of who we are, as a people and country.

The American political war protest event, Rolling Thunder, has become the largest continuous annual political protest in our nation’s history.

Rolling Thunder started with a simple thought by one man.  Honor those Missing in Action and Prisoners of War, with a motor cycle run to Washington DC.

Ray Manzo, from Hoboken, N.J., loved and served his country, and was driven by the pain he felt for those he knew we left behind. Coming home from Viet Nam, trying to live, he longed to throw a flag up, look for, find and recover his forgotten comrades. Ray had to act.  He wrote hundreds of letters to those he thought could help and would happily go find and recover their enlisted.  He spent years keeping the flag high.  And then one day, he conceived a motorcycle run in the nation’s capital to show the country and the world that abandoned American soldiers in Vietnam still mattered to their fellow servicemen and the country for which they sacrificed their freedom.  Finally, an idea for protest on a mass scale.  With the help of those he pitched the idea, Ray continued to pursue the ride it, making it happen.

Since that first ride, in 1987, when it was hard to count the numbers riding into DC from all over the country, “each run has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger”.  Today, the run participants number up to 500,000 riders and 900,000 supporters. And it takes 10 days for the Carry the Flame riders to get from California to Washington.

In those early years it was difficult for some to stick their necks out for a, public, war demonstration. Those who’d served or were actively serving, and those who loved them, had big fear of protests.  But with good, decent and passionate motivation and leadership, organizing, and recruiting Rolling Thunder has grown leaps and bounds every year.  Today with the support of the hundreds of thousands of civilians who join them, it’s ourVets, their needs, the PentagonArlington Cemetery, the War Memorials and motorcycles that “rule the day”.  On Memorial Day in our nations capital a war protest, that could not be more fittingly, emotionally moving and noisy!

I honor Memorial Day and our warriors, every year, tearfully and with Rolling Thunder!  Even now, from a distance, I am transported there, in real time, at my computer, by the hundreds of people who are there and uploading the day from their phones!  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to have the tears, fight for and celebrate our military, and feel Rolling Thunder on Memorial Day!  The least I can do!

Watch the official Rolling Thunder video and learn a little history.  Have a great Memorial Day – honoring those who serve, their families and loved ones!

More Rolling Thunder videos

2010 Rolling Thunder HELMET CAM!!! – finally someone did it!    Uploaded to youtube by youtube member scottp32401


Bar King Spiders (the band) Rolling Thunder Video – LOVE THIS – One of Gwen’s FAV Rolling Thunder Videos!!


May 25, 2010 – Riders along Interstate 59 – passing through Fort Payne, Alabama, headed to the Rolling Thunder Ride in Washington DC.  Music Mozart-Carmina Burana – O Fortuna – uploaded to youtube by – youtube member – ACMC58


May 30, 2010 — Short documentary on Rolling Thunder 2010 – from youtube member pvreditor – who is also doing the narration