Apparently, the rumors of Rolling Thunder’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. And a bit premature.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, it has been reported by Fox News and other outlets that Rolling Thunder had received a substantial donation of $200,000 from another nonprofit organization, Wreaths Across America, to cover operating costs for the 2020 event. Now President Trump has thrown in his support for the event as well.
Begun in 1987 by Vietnam veteran Artie Muller, Rolling Thunder plans and coordinates a yearly ride to the nation’s capital across the Memorial Day weekend. Tens of thousands of riders from across the country ride in and converge on Washington, D.C. for the weekend, which includes a ride from the Pentagon to the National Mall, to pay tribute to American service members who have died in the line of duty. The event was in jeopardy after the 2018 event, with rising costs for permits and increased alleged uncooperativeness on the part of certain government agencies.
In the past week, Karen Worcester of Wreaths Across America pledged a donation of $200,00 to Rolling Thunder to aid with operating costs in the coming year, stating to Muller, “We just want you to know how much we appreciate your mission. Remembering is too important to forget.” The two organizations have worked together for years to honor America’s combat fallen.
On Sunday President Donald Trump chimed in his support for Rolling Thunder and the annual event, tweeting, “The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, & hopefully for many years to come. It is where they want to be, & where they should be. Have a wonderful time today. Thank you to our great men & women of the Pentagon for working it out!”
Trump first pledged his support to aid the organization on Saturday, when he wrote, “Can’t believe that Rolling Thunder would be given a hard time with permits in Washington, D.C. They are great Patriots who I have gotten to know and see in action. They love our Country and love our Flag. If I can help, I will!”
In addition to this development, Rolling Thunder’s Muller had previously announced the organization was making plans to go national with the weekend event for 2020 and beyond, by holding simultaneous rides across the country with its 90 chapters.
We are glad to hear that Rolling Thunder may well continue to the Capital at least for the near future, are grateful for the generous donation made be Wreaths Across America, and thankful for the support of the President.
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