and to
(and for all vets who fought in WWl, WWll, Korea and Desert Storm)

by Marti La Velle

Rolling Thunder started eight years ago, in May of 1988. It started with a group of Vietnam Vet Bikers and other Vietnam Vets. It starts at the Pentagon, and ends at the Vietnam Memorial. Since it's first run, it has grown. As of Rolling Thunder 1995, there were approximately 150,000 bikers that participated in the run, as well as the thousands of spectators who came to show their support and honor the Vets. Rolling Thunder consists of Bikers who were in Vietnam, other bikers, and non bikers who just care about the issue, and want something done about the POWs and MIAs.

They ride to honor fallen comrades, and to implore the US Government to account for the 2,200 American soldiers that are still POWs or MIA. They carry POW/MIA flags and American flags to show their support. They come from all over the US, from California to the Eastern US. The caring and love that is shown during this time is heartwarming, and can put you into tears. To see the Vet brothers get together either for the first time, or just to reminisce, or to just give a hug to a brother is truly a sight to see!

Last year, the Government tried to put a stop to this run, because one of Hillary Clinton's family was getting married at the White House. However, they still rolled into DC with more conviction than ever. And that showed from this year's attendance, where almost 150,000 bikers rode in the run! Every year, someone for some reason wants this whole thing to stop. The media also doesn't seem to be able get the figures right of how many people actually ride in the run, or how many people are actually at the Wall! Most of us believe it is because of the fact that the Government really doesn't care, and because of the recently improved relation between the US and Vietnam. But folks, BIG NEWS FLASH! We are not going to stop until there is something done! We will do this forever if we have to, and there will be more people riding next year, and the next, and the next!

On May 28, 1995, the very first POW/MIA postage stamp was issued to commemorate these brothers lost! To show your support, please go and buy some. And come to the Rolling Thunder run next year, even if you don't ride. It doesn't matter!


Every year, on Memorial Day, Vets also have a time to remember and reminisce at the "Wall", during the annual Rolling Thunder event. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists from around the United States ride from the Pentagon to the Memorial to honor their friends and family members that died, and the ones that are POWs and MIAs.

The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial was built with donations from various veterans groups and other people. It was completed in 1982, and the ceremony was held on Veterans Day, November 11, 1982. The people decided that it was about time for a memorial for the Vietnam Vets that had died. To this day, it is not only a memorial to remember those who had died in Vietnam, but also to remember those still missing and held captive in Vietnam.

Since the first day, people have flocked to the "Wall" to see their family member's name, or their comrade's name, and to help love and support other comrades. And to reminisce, and help other comrades with their first time at the "Wall". They leave tears, love, support for others, and gifts at the "Wall".

If you want any info, or want to know more about Rolling Thunder or the "Wall", or if you have any information you would like to contribute, please E-mail me anytime. I am here to help.

Copyright Marti La Velle, 1995.