Begun in 1988, the annual tribute now sees almost a million people attending, participating or simply having a good time on the fringes.
According to retired US Army veteran Phillip Seybert, everyone at Rolling Thunder has a unique story but shares a single purpose. "All the different bike groups, all the different vet groups, we're one when we're here together," he told Washington CBS-affiliate WUSA9.Memorial Day (Decoration Day) Weekend.
— KellyFinleyNebiolini (@KellyFinley) May 28, 2017
"We are every creed, we are every color, we are every religion, we are every make and we are every model and this shows it," Kimberly Meier explained to local radio station WTOP. Meier made the trip to Washington from her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rolling Thunder, through its representatives on Capitol Hill and in over 100 regional chapters throughout the US, actively promotes legislation to expand veteran benefits and resolve POW/MIA issues from all wars.
— Lactem (@motorbikeone) May 28, 2017
The organization also provides financial and logistical support, as well as food, clothing and other essentials to veterans, veterans' families, veterans groups and family crisis centers, according to their website.
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) May 28, 2017