A massive group of nearly 50,000 military veterans on motorcycles assembled outside Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, D.C. on the weekend to perform their yearly parade to commemorate the American soldiers who fulfilled their service in a war on the Memorial Day occasion.
The Rolling to Remember event that has been hosted since the 80s saw thousands of bikers swarming the streets, starting from the stadium to the Lincoln Memorial to Capitol Hill.
The parade is a solemn tribute to the veterans who were left haunted by the horrors of war, which does not exclude prisoners of war and those missing in action.
“We ride for those who can’t,” said Heidi “Blue” Hansing of Nederland, Texas, reported by WTOP. “There’s probably no sacrifice we could make that could match those who have given their lives.”
“Start learning your history and how this country was made and [about] being free. It took our veterans to keep it this way,” Navy veteran Thomas Williams, one of the members who joined the ride, told Washington Examiner.
??? This nonpatisan event was meant to tell the story of American soldiers who valiantly joined the force, knowing too well their path was filled with both mental and physical strainful challenges.
Speaking at the event, Sawyer Hendrickson, the 12-year-old founder of the pro-veteran nonprofit group Miss Sawyer’s Kids with a Cause, informed the sorrowful reality that the United States loses 22 veterans per day on average as they commit suicide, plus over 80,000 military members missing in action.
“We are a nation of liberty and freedom, and we can not let the sacrifices of our heroes be forgotten,” she said.
While perspectives on Memorial Day are now mixed driven by the political feud between Republicans and Democrats, Hendrickson reassured the motive of the event was not driven by either of the party’s ideologies.
“Being a patriot is not being political. I am not a Republican or a Democrat. There is no Left or Right to me. I am just 12 years old. I am a proud American. I am pro-military, and until all those serving our country come home safely, I will continue to bleed red, white, and blue,” Hendrickson said.
Singing the national anthem at the opening ceremony, Navy veteran and recording artist Dave Bray talked of the fallen men and women throughout American history who had devoted themselves to the sovereignty that the country now has.
“Too many men and women have fought for it. Too many men and women have died for it, and that’s what that red-colored stripe stands for on that flag,” said Bray.