As a child, I often marched in my hometown's Memorial Day parade. Whether walking with my Girl Scout troop or riding my bicycle festooned with red, white, and blue crepe paper, I felt the pride of remembering those in our military who served and sacrificed. In the center of town, sits a bridge over the river. The parade would split down the middle so that we could utilize the sidewalks on either side and toss bunches of flowers over the railing into the water below. It was a simple act of remembrance. The parade ended at the local cemetery where, with a backdrop of lovingly decorated gravesites, we witnessed a brief ceremony that spoke of the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Now, living in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. we have the opportunity to witness another powerful display of remembrance...Rolling Thunder. Each year, over 250,000 motorcycles ride during the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day weekend observance that is held each year in our nation's capital. The event has evolved to be a exhibition of patriotism and respect for soldiers and veterans from all wars. This morning, we saw throngs of people gathering along the roads and overpasses of the main route to D.C. They were all there to wave, salute, or simply catch a glimpse of the thousands of motorcyclists heading thru our area. Even from my home, a distance from the route, I could hear the rumbling of the cycle engines as they prepared for the trip.
As you enjoy your festivities this holiday weekend, remember the true meaning of Memorial Day and take a moment to thank those who have sacrificed to Let Freedom Ring.