Throughout the day on Saturday, Legion Riders, mostly astride throbbing Milwaukee V-Twins, rumbled in from various states in two- and three-wheeled transports for the 25th annual Rolling Thunder "Run to the Wall." The riders gathered in the parking lot of American Legion Post 177 in Fairfax, Va., for an all-day barbeque, a "motorcycle rodeo" competition and much more.
This is the first year Legion Riders have met in an organized fashion for the traditional Memorial Day weekend motorcycle pilgrimage to the Vietnam Memorial Wall. However, it will not be the last. The number of Post 177 guests was at least as many, if not more, than those involved in the Legion's annual convention Legacy Run.
Volunteer seamstresses decorated jackets and vests with Legion Rider merchandise that national staff Scott Miller and Bill Sloan dispensed, while Boy Scouts enthusiastically polished the road grime off well traveled bikes. And while groups of riders checked in, many rode further to explore the Northern Virginia landscape.
The evening hours brought the riders all together for solemn words of remembrance for fallen comrades, as well as preparations for Sunday's procession to the Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial.