Life / memorial day / motorcycles / rolling thunder / veterans / war / washington

Memorial Day .. Pause at 3:pm on Monday

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was first observed on May 30, 1868 in order to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. It was declared a national holiday by Congress in 1971 to be celebrated on the last Monday in May. I find it so strange that people will wish you a “Happy Memorial Day”. Kind of an oxymoron having “happy” associated with a solemn holiday when we are remembering our veterans, especially those that have died in service to their country defending our freedoms.

The National Moment of Remembrance was also established by Congress and it asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for one minute. Congress chose 3 p.m. because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.

This year in Washington (DC) there are a lot of public events that anyone can attend as long as you don’t mind the crowds. There is a concert sponsored by PBS tonight on the South Lawn of the Capital, there is a parade of marching bands and veterans from all 50 states on Monday, and wreath laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial National Memorial. In my opinion, the most impressive gathering is the 21st Rolling Thunder.

This year, Rolling Thunder expects to break last year’s participation of over 400,000 motorcycles with almost 825,000 particpants in their weekend-long get-together. I had never heard of Rolling Thunder until I moved to the area. Now, I look forward to the bikes, the noise, and the characters that begin rolling into the Metro DC area beginning the Friday before Memorial Day Monday. The riders are almost all decked out in leather with a U.S. flag somewhere on their clothing and on their bikes. They are loud! And, you can’t miss them. I live about 25 miles outside of the District, and this morning I could hear a large group about 1/2 mile away gunning their engines as they make the trek into Washington. (And, yes, Clover heard the Thunder, thought it was a real storm coming, ran inside and up the stairs and hid in the closet for a half-hour.)

Taken from the Rolling Thunder website:

The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize POW-MIA issues: To educate the public that many American prisoners of war were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action.”

Can you imagine what 400,000 motorcycles, mostly Harley-Davidsons, sound like when they rev up their engines all at the same time?

It sounds like thunder.

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4 thoughts on “Memorial Day .. Pause at 3:pm on Monday

  1. CC – you are a big softie. That is very good in my book. I tear up when I hear the National Anthem at 4th of July celebrations and ball games, too.

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  2. Got to love the bikers:) I think Jeffs V-Star is about as loud as half of those bikes. Whenever Kaylee hears a motorcycle come by the house she runs to the front door thinking its him. Shes highly put off when no one comes to the door. OBTW good thing you werent in Florida 2 days ago, we had a major lightning storm and my transformer blew, i was without electric (the girl at FPL told me you and 59 other people) WHOPEE i should go buy a lottery ticket I told her,, HAHA anyway, Kaylee hid in the bathtub! Im sure if clover was with her they could have kept each other company shaking in the tub. Im going to Earls today, they have a big to-do with all the vets its so moving to see these big ol burly men take off their doorags and or hats and cry when the National Anthem is played. Makes me proud Im an American. So to all the men and women who have served our country proudly I salute you all!!!!! God Bless America, now lets get those gas prices down

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  3. E – have fun! I just walked the dogs and am now going to do laundry. Gotta look for the dog’s Xanax so I can medicate her before the neighborhood starts shooting off fireworks!
    D.

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