Born to Be Mild: Rolling Thunder Rumbles into DC

(Photo By: heydayjoe)

(Photo By: heydayjoe)

On Memorial Day weekend, the patriotic motorcycle rally Rolling Thunder rumbled into DC for its annual tribute to our country’s veterans. Tens of thousands of Baby Boomer bikers roared down the streets of DC to honor fallen soldiers, living veterans, prisoners of war and, particularly, those still missing in action.

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.”

(Photo By: heydayjoe)

(Photo By: heydayjoe)

The annual ride and gathering first began in 1988 as the Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run. Riders from across the country rallied in the Pentagon parking lots before cruising the streets of DC together because … freedom.

Some of these motorcycle enthusiasts have been fighting for their right to be heard for 50 years – essentially this is your grandfather’s motorcycle club – and they know how to make some noise. Baby Boomers hold more than half of all American wealth, and this capitol convergence showcases perhaps the finest collection of beautiful modern, vintage and iconic motorcycles to ever grace the grassy fields of the National Mall.

Given their need to accommodate expanding cargo, these elegant bikes are built for the ultimate comfortable ride. Most include custom amenities for the long haul, with one exception: the quiet muffler, which could stifle the sound of elderly rebellion. Sure, you can take the rebellion out of the aging rebel, but you can’t take the squeal out of the hog – unless you have patriotism-regulating Patriot Defenders pipes. In other words, patriotism needs to be heard to be seen but not necessarily seen to be understood. Got that? Freedom!

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