WE REMEMBER… and we thank them ALL.
As Rolling Thunder has rolled in on motorcycles from across the states this week, the thunder has been heard, they are gathering; most will gather near the Vietnam Wall; old and new friendships will be bonds as brothers and sisters as they prepare to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldiers. It is about honoring, respect, remembering. It is a weekend that once again we know that all are not accounted for who have fought for our freedoms here at home. Rolling Thunder continues to ride for those who can’t and yet again they will ride, bringing with them the next generation, the sons and daughters, granddaughters and grandsons who love and miss those who died for all of us, paying the ultimate price for freedom as we fire up grills and hit the beaches this weekend.
Many will be back in Vietnam in their hearts, in their stories and in their minds; while so many more will be in sand miles away still fighting for our freedoms carrying more than 70 pounds on the backs having not bathed in months and wishing they were home. Some will wonder what in the hell they are fighting for, while others will have held their brother in their arms as he or she took their last breath and still others at home in their chair who fought the great battles would tell you that they would do it all over again given the chance for their country.
Flags will be flown high in Washington D.C. and many will come out to meet those men and women of Rolling Thunder, so many of them Veterans who have been there, who have walked the walk and now ride proud and stand. Many who took a detour on their way and rode straight to Moore OK, and made sure that the funeral of little Nicolas who died in the Tornado was safe for the family, as they protected the line and the friends and all there from the idiot squad of Westboro Baptist Church who are in Oklahoma with the intent of picketing the funerals. Yet the Arkansas chapter of Rolling Thunder and hundreds of others made sure that Oklahoma felt the angels surrounding them and dignity was assured on the week of Memorial Weekend. Once again Thunder rolled in for honor and respect, and protection just as it is happening this weekend in the District of Columbia, and they are rolling proud.
Some will fire up grills this weekend, many have left town for a great time while others are looking for a chance to kick back, lay back, and just be still.
One man plans to have a quiet weekend, and I hope he does while many send him a salute and a thank you, maybe dropping by his home in Texas with a rack of ribs and a hug! Thank you sir for your service and your life…
We thank all as we remember them, we remember them as they have given us the opportunity to live in a free country, realizing that freedom is not free. Yet many feel the right to bitch, moan, groan and complain yet do little more than that on social media, over cocktails with photo shopping and quotes or misinformation or in conversation while feeding the negative and have managed to forget that we must must stand together while giving to each other kindness compassion and add to the light of others in order to shine brightly.
We must find our way to stand as proud and free Americans with one flag, one voice while erasing those lines that divide and separate and work for the greater good. Time is moving quickly and we could once again learn from the tragedy of Oklahoma that we shine and do best under times of distress and our best comes out when there is a crisis that involves people in harm’s way. Look at the response of Oklahoma, the efforts of people reaching out to people, not politics, but people. The first step up to help financially came from a basketball player, country music players, and everyday people. A hate cult called Westboro showed up and bikers and veterans showed out, standing the line with everyday people to protect and honor the fallen and the survivors and they proved that love wins.
This weekend the District of Columbia is filled with Veterans of Wars and those who love them, and children who never met their dads and moms but are there at the Arlington National Cemetery, there at the Vietnam Wall to honor, to hear the stories, to meet others and feel closer and to give love and support with a hand, a story, a moment of understanding. It is that which matters and makes us stronger together than any moment of minute apart as we gather as we hear thunder roll.
May you remember, honor, take time out of your weekend to hang your flag in honor of our great Nation, for those who have fought for your freedoms and our lives… May you stand stronger thinking of so many who came home with no parade, nothing but the horrors trapped within them and the many who are still unaccounted for and the families that continue to wonder, the children that never got to experience them knowing that their lives could have been so much more.
May you enjoy that bbq, yet remember why it is that you have that long weekend ahead of you, and those who gave their lives for each of us in battle and those that continue that fight under our flag today.
If you haven’t been to the wall, try to go there, this weekend there will be more Veterans that will and can tell you of their brothers and sisters in arms than any other time and the trail of tears continues…along with the honor will last you a lifetime. Spirit is strong there and there is someone always nearby, ALWAYS very close nearby.
With love and great gratitude to all who served, all who are serving, on this Memorial Day weekend.
- Memorial Day Weekend: The Purple Heart, Wall of Remembrance & Rolling Thunder (40islikethenew30.wordpress.com)
- Rolling Thunder to Arrive in Arlington Tomorrow (arlnow.com)
- Rolling Thunder rumbles into D.C. area to honor POWs, MIAs, veterans (wjla.com)
- Rolling Thunder XXVI May 26, 2013: Until They Are Home (salem-news.com)
- Rolling Thunder, Inc.’s 26th Annual Memorial Day Demonstration Still Asking Accountability for those Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (motorsportsnewswire.wordpress.com)
- Films to Watch this Memorial Day Weekend (redenvelope.com)
- Cleaning Vietnam Memorial Proves Healing for Veterans (voanews.com)
- Rolling Thunder dedicates ’empty chair’ memorial in Marion (wcyb.com)
- 600 motorcyclists ride into Tuscaloosa, visit VA Medical Center (photos, video) (al.com)