Tags: motorcycle | ride | vietnam | memorial day | trump

Trump Says No End to 'Rolling Thunder,' Ride Will Return to D.C.

Trump Says No End to 'Rolling Thunder,' Ride Will Return to D.C.
Rolling Thunder will mark the 32nd anniversary of its annual "Ride for Freedom" motorcycle procession and commemorative events this Memorial Day weekend for raising the attention of POW and MIA issues (Zach Gibson/Getty)
 

Sunday, 26 May 2019 09:25 AM

President Donald Trump, who vowed to help the “Rolling Thunder” motorcycle event continue in the nation’s capital after organizers said this year’s would be the final ride, tweeted Sunday that the rally “WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C, next year.”

Motorcyclists have rumbled into Washington on Memorial Day weekend for three decades in a noisy tribute to fallen soldiers. This year’s ride was to have been the last following animosity over the rising cost of permits.

“Rolling Thunder” started in 1987 to honor prisoners and those missing in action after the Vietnam War. The bikers roll through Washington and end up at the Pentagon, across the Potomac River in Virginia.

Former Army Sergeant Artie Muller, a Vietnam veteran and co-founder of the event, told the website military.com that logistics and costs were getting too out of hand. Riders also complained of harassment by Pentagon security and the Washington police. A Pentagon spokeswoman denied the riders had been harassed.

“It’s just a lot of money,' said Muller, 73. The event costs about $200,000, including the tab for installing portable toilets and paying $30,000 for parking at the Pentagon before the Sunday ride to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.

Trump on Saturday called the riders “great Patriots” and pledged to help the organization.

Muller, in an interview with WTOP Radio, cited several another reasons to end the D.C. ride: many of the founders are older and can no longer ride long distances. That’s an issue that’s resonated in recent years with motorcycle makers including iconic Harley-Davidson Inc. Some participants also can’t get time off work or can’t afford long-distance trips, Muller added.

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President Donald Trump, who vowed to help the "Rolling Thunder" motorcycle event continue in the nation's capital after organizers said this year's would be the final ride, tweeted Sunday that the rally "WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C, next year.
motorcycle, ride, vietnam, memorial day, trump
274
2019-25-26
Sunday, 26 May 2019 09:25 AM
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