Rolling Thunder Photos

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    A Parade of Motorcycles: A Memorial Day Demonstration in Washington DC

    ••• Rolling Thunder - A Parade of Motorcycles. Photos © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Rolling Thunder is an annual Memorial Day demonstration where thousands of motorcycles ride through Washington, DC seeking to improve veteran benefits and resolve POW/MIA issues. This is a wonderful patriotic event that expands and gets larger and larger each year. These photos of Rolling Thunder show just a glimpse of the event. For a fuller experience, you'll have to join in the festivities and and hear the amazing roar of thousands of engines in unison. Enjoy these photos!

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    Rolling Thunder at Arlington Memorial Bridge

    ••• Rolling Thunder at Arlington Memorial Bridge. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Rolling Thunder motorcycles begin their journey at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia, cross over Arlington Memorial Bridge into Washington, DC and then proceed down Constitution Avenue towards the U.S. Capitol and around the National Mall.

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    Map of Rolling Thunder Route

    ••• Map of Rolling Thunder Route.

    This map shows the route of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally. Participants assemble at the Pentagon and ride their motorcycles across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, down Constitution Avenue towards the Capitol Building, turn at 3rd Street and again at Independence Avenue proceeding around the National Mall and ending near the Lincoln Memorial.  See Photos of Rolling Thunder.

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    Harley Davidsons

    ••• Harley Davidsons. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Harley Davidsons are the motorcycle of choice for most participants because they are American made and make the loudest roar.

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    Bikers Relaxing on the National Mall

    ••• Bikers Relaxing on the National Mall. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Motorcycles are parked everywhere throughout Washington, DC. People bring their bikes to participate and to watch the continuous parade of Rolling Thunder. 

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    Motorcycles Park Everywhere in Washington, DC

    ••• Motorcycles Park Everywhere in Washington, DC. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Approximately 400,000 motorcycles are in Washington, DC for Rolling Thunder. They are everywhere you look around in the city during this special event.

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    Volkswagon Beetle Conversion to a Motorcycle

    ••• Volkswagon Beetle Conversion to a Motorcycle. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Part car, part motorcycle - Lots of interesting vehicles participate in Rolling Thunder.

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    Cage of a Prisoner of War

    ••• Cage of a Prisoner of War. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Some participants of Rolling Thunder pull cages, symbolizing Prisoners of War to remind us of the need to help and to honor them.

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    Motorcycle with a Sidecar

    ••• Motorcycle with a Sidecar. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Honda Goldwing with a Space Age Sidecar

    ••• Honda Goldwing with a Space Age Sidecar. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Trike

    ••• Trike. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Patriotic Motorcycle

    ••• Patriotic Motorcycle. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Many of the motorcyclists wave flags as they participate in Rolling Thunder.

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    Thunder Alley

    ••• Thunder Alley. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Concessions are set up offering refreshments to the crowd.

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    Giant Flag on the Mall

    ••• Giant Flag on the National Mall. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Patriotic flags and symbols are displayed in honor of Memorial Day

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    Jesus Loves Bikers Float

    ••• Jesus Loves Bikers Float. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    People come to Washington, DC from all over the country to support POWs and MIAs.

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    Lincoln Memorial Stage Area

    ••• Lincoln Memorial Stage Area. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Thousands gather in front of the Lincoln Memorial following the Rolling Thunder parade. Patriotic music and inspirational speakers entertain the crowd.

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    Honor Guard March

    ••• Honor Guard March. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    As part of the speaker program, an honor guard marches in to pay tribute to Veterans.

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    Parade of Motorcycles

    ••• Parade of Motorcycles. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    More Motorcycles

    ••• More Motorcycles. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Patriot Bikers

    ••• Patriotic Bikers. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Entertainers Onstage

    ••• Entertainers Onstage. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Rolling Thunder inspires a day of patriotic music.

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    More Rolling Thunder

    ••• More Rolling Thunder. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Support Our Troops, Defend POWs and MIAs

    ••• Support Our Troops, Defend POWs and MIAs. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Military Trucks Participate in Rolling Thunder

    ••• Military Trucks Participate in Rolling Thunder. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    A variety of vehicles participate in Rolling Thunder along with the motorcycles.

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    More Motorcycles

    ••• More Motorcycles. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Quilt of Tears

    ••• Quilt of Tears. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Agent Orange Victims & Widows Support Network displays "A Quilt of Tears" showing support for the families of veterans who died during the Vietnam War.

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    More Motorcycles

    ••• More Motorcycles. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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    Drum and Fife Corps

    ••• Drum and Fife Corps. photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    A drum and fife corps marches along the Reflecting Pool while the speaker program begins in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

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    Women's Vietnam War Veterans Memorial

    ••• Women's Vietnam War Veterans Memorial. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Many of the memorials in Washington, DC are decorated with wreaths for Rolling Thunder and Memorial Day.

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    POW Flag

    ••• POW Flag. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    A Veteran group from Massachusetts set this large flag on the National Mall in honor of POWs.

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    Spectators

    ••• Spectators. © Elizabeth Mata
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    Combat Vets Association

    ••• Combat Vets Association. © Elizabeth Mata