WASHINGTON, May 28, 2006 -
More than 100,000 motorcycles carrying Vietnam veterans, current and former servicemembers, family members, and other supporters rattled the streets here today.
The motorcyclists were participating in the Rolling Thunder XIX Ride for Freedom from the Pentagon parking lot to the National Mall. The ride is held every year by the non-profit group as a demonstration to raise awareness about prisoners of war, troops missing in action, and veterans benefits.
"Everybody should think on Memorial Day weekend about how many Americans have served and given their lives for their country," said Artie Muller, founder and executive director of Rolling Thunder.
The riders today included veterans from all walks of life, as well as active-duty servicemembers and other Americans who wanted to show their support. One of those riders was retired Col. Nyuen Kim Ban, of the Republic of Vietnam armed forces. Ban was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 17 and a half years and is now the president of the Council of Vietnamese American Organizations.
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It really makes ole Cindy Sheehan's group look rather lame, wouldn't you say?