Tags: rolling thunder | trump | pentagon | memorial day

Will Rolling Thunder Stay Muffled?

Will Rolling Thunder Stay Muffled?
Bikers take part in the "Rolling thunder" parade, part of the Memorial weekend honouring war veterans in Washington, on May 26 2019. Thousands of bikers converged on the U.S. capital for what is billed as their last national "Rolling Thunder" ride in honor of missing American soldiers on Memorial Day weekend. (Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images)

By with Michael R. Shannon
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 11:25 AM Current | Bio | Archive

For 31 years the highways surrounding the Pentagon have reverberated to the sound of motorcycles on Memorial Day as a multi-state convoy called Rolling Thunder made its way toward the seat of our nation’s military.

The Washington Examiner reports that Rolling Thunder now has 90 chapters in 29 states and the ride has grown from an initial 3,000 motorcycle riders to the current predicted attendance of 70,000.

In spite of Rolling Thunder’s popularity and its goal of bringing attention and showing “solidarity for prisoners of war and those missing in action,” this year’s ride was supposed to be the last. Although local police departments in Virginia are happy to direct Rolling Thunder traffic for no charge and fire departments provide medical aid for free, too, that wasn’t part of the program for Pentagon bureaucrats.

A defense department that pays NFL teams hundreds of thousands of dollars for pointless stadium flyovers could not find a way to help support a nationwide ride of volunteers who come to honor our nation’s military.

Security state functionaries also had to add their $0.02. Each year the logistics demands from Pentagon paper-pushers become more onerous and the traffic and parking edicts more arbitrary and capricious.

Rolling Thunder’s executive director Artie Muller says the costs imposed by the Pentagon were a “significant factor” in the decision to end the ride. The organization pays in the neighborhood of $200,000 to the Pentagon for “security,” permits, portable bathrooms, and use of the facilities, but like Rodney Dangerfield, they don’t get no respect.

According to the story, “Muller also cited what he said is a lack of support from Pentagon officials, manifested in the diversion of bikers away from Pentagon parking lots, which, Muller says, they used in the past without problems.”

Diverting Rolling Thunder participants into lots located who-knows-where cut memorabilia sales — that help to fund the event — in half. Resulting in significantly less revenue. Taking the hint Rolling Thunder decided to end the annual event.

And that’s where the situation stood until the Tweeter-in-Chief became involved.

President Trump sent out a post-event tweet that read: “The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, & hopefully for many years to come. It is where they want to be, & where they should be. Have a wonderful time today. Thank you to our great men & women of the Pentagon for working it out!”

The tweet came as news to the leaders of Rolling Thunder because so far, the “great men & women of the Pentagon” had worked nothing out and changed nothing either.

Let’s hope the president’s good intentions aren’t undone by his short attention span. Here’s hoping there is firm White House follow-up on the president’s tweet and Rolling Thunder does return in 2020.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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For 31 years the highways surrounding the Pentagon have reverberated to the sound of motorcycles on Memorial Day as a multi-state convoy called Rolling Thunder made its way toward the seat of our nation’s military.
rolling thunder, trump, pentagon, memorial day
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 11:25 AM
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