Bring The Thunder

Rolling Thunder 2010 (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Rolling Thunder 2010 (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

I’ve never seen so many motorcycles in my life.

I went for a run down by the monuments Saturday afternoon and happened upon hundreds – no, thousands – of tourists. But then I looked more closely. A lot of them were bikers. As I rounded the Lincoln Memorial, I noticed a huge stage with entertainers, and rows upon rows of motorcycles lined up on the grass.

It was, I discovered later, festivities for Rolling Thunder — a non-profit group that hosts the “Run To the Wall,” in which cyclists unite on Memorial Day and ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam War Memorial. I didn’t see the actual event, but I was surrounded by bikers all weekend (and heard the motors run when I went to sleep each night. Aaaah city living).

I saw bikers on Sunday, when I made my own visit to the Arlington National Cemetery. For the first time, I saw JFK’s gravesite and witnessed the changing of the guard. I walked into Robert E. Lee’s home set atop the hill of the cemetery, and even saw men dressed in Civil War garb – no doubt headed to the Civil War memorial gravesites.

I rounded out my Sunday with the televised Memorial Day concert – broadcast live on the Capitol’s West Lawn. I packed a sandwich, met up with friends, and watched Kelli O’Hara, Brad Paisley and Yolanda Adams sing it out. Colin Powell made an appearance as well. It was a moving concert, as the actors re-told the stories of living heroes, and heroes fallen.

So fitting, I thought, for Memorial Day weekend.


About Meg Biallas

Thoughts From A DC Intern Turned DCist. A twenty-something goes beyond traditional tourism to achieve Washingtonian authenticity.
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