Motorcycles Roaring Toward Nation's Capital to Mark Memorial Day

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The first of thousands of motorcyclists from around the country already have
fired up their engines and headed to Washington, D.C., to celebrate Memorial
Day weekend on the National Mall.

As they have for the past 14 years, the riders are linking up enroute with
Rolling Thunder, Inc., a group of veterans with equal passion for the
POW-MIA issue and Harley-Davidson road machines.

This year marks the 26th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, and more
than 400,000 people are expected to attend the remembrance ceremonies and
festivities May 27 between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

Good Morning, Vietnam

Paul Revere and The Raiders, who will perform classic rock 'n' roll music
from the 1960s and 1970s, will be joined onstage by Adrian Cronauer, the
Armed Forces Radio disc jockey who inspired the movie "Good Morning,
Vietnam!"

 
'Thanks for helping me get through 'Nam with the music.' Today, the music is
part of the healing process.
- Adrain Cronauer


 "Music was part of the lives of those who served in Vietnam," said
Cronauer,
now an attorney in Washington, D.C. "Most were young men in their late teens
and early 20s, serving in a place where the only thing that wasn't foreign
to them was American rock 'n' roll. Many have since approached me and said,
'Thanks for helping me get through 'Nam with the music.' Today, the music is
part of the healing process."

Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000 and the founder of the Heather
French Foundation for Veterans, also will appear. The foundation, she said,
was established to "provide significant financial and educational support to
community-based providers who offer services and support relating to
homelessness, health care and housing issues concerning veterans."

Paul Revere and The Raiders is releasing a CD, "Ride To The Wall," featuring
new recordings of rock songs from the Vietnam era and three original songs
written by Vietnam veterans. Proceeds from the CD sales are to be donated to
the Ride To The Wall Foundation.

Revere recalled a phenomenon that began in 1999 when a veteran handed him a
tattered American flag at the end of a performance. "They'd come up at our
post-show autograph-signing sessions and say, 'Thanks for doing all those
great old songs, especially "We Gotta' Get Outa' This Place." Boy, do I
remember that from Vietnam. It was our theme song over there.'

 
After hearing that over and over from people in the autograph lines, I
started dedicating that song to the vets.
- Revere

 
"After hearing that over and over from people in the autograph lines, I
started dedicating that song to the vets. That's when it really started to
snowball. Some of them seemed to be overwhelmed that we'd dedicated a piece
of our show to them. They felt they'd been treated like second-class
citizens and never gotten any recognition for their service because of all
the war disputes that were going on back then. It seemed to mean the world
to them that somebody was actually recognizing them."

"Ride to the Wall"

Revere and his band introduced "Ride to the Wall" at a Seattle concert April
20. They're now motorcycling cross-country to Washington for the Memorial
Day fete.

They are stopping at cities including Albuquerque, N.M., Little Rock Ark.,
Nashville, Tenn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Richmond, Va., Revere said, and
"Any motorcyclist who wants to join us is welcome. They can go as far as
they want with us and then go home."

Rolling Thunder's stated mission is to "educate the public that many
American prisoners of war were left behind after all past wars" and "help
correct the past andthe future veterans from being left behind should they
become prisoners of war-missing in action. We are committed to helping
disabled veterans from all wars."

For more information about the Ride To The Wall Foundation, call Jay D.
Schwartz, J.D. Schwartz and Associates, at 310-777-6760 (fax 310-777-6770).

 

 

 

 

 

"From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remember'd;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day".

 

 

From Henry V by William Shakespeare