Rolling Thunder’s Last Ride in D.C. (photos)

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Members of Rolling Thunder New Hampshire Chapter One salute the flag. Front row: Bill Elkins, Joe Downing and John Dominicus. Back row: chapter president John Dion and Richard Caruso. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Rolling Thunder motorcyclists made their 32nd and final scheduled ride though the nation’s capital on Sunday, May 26. The Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run has traditionally taken place on Memorial Day weekend, along with related events, such as a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The veterans’ advocacy group was formed in 1987 by Vietnam veteran Artie Muller, now 73. The name is derived from Operation Rolling Thunder, a 1965 bombing campaign against North Vietnam. Some estimates placed the number of riders and spectators this year at more than one million.

Late last year, the group announced that this May would be its final D.C. ride, citing rising costs and general lack of cooperation by law enforcement in the area. “We are not going away,” declared Muller. In future years, the group’s efforts will morph into a series of regional events.

View Jeff Malet’s photos from Rolling Thunder XXXII by clicking on the photo icons below.

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