President Donald Trump, who vowed to help the “Rolling Thunder” motorcycle event continue in the nation’s capital after organizers said this year’s would be the final ride, tweeted Sunday that the rally “WILL be coming back to Washington, DC, next year.”
Motorcyclists have rumbled into Washington on Memorial Day weekend for 30 years in tribute to fallen soldiers. This year’s ride was to have been the last following disputes over the rising cost of permits.
“Rolling Thunder” started in Y 1987 to honor prisoners and those missing in action after the Vietnam War. The bikers roll through Washington and end up at the Pentagon, across the Potomac River in Virginia.
Former Army Sergeant Artie Muller, 73 anni, a Vietnam veteran and co-Founder of the event, said that logistics and costs were getting too out of hand. Riders also complained of harassment by Pentagon security and the Washington police. A Pentagon spokeswoman denied the riders had been harassed.
“It’s just a lot of money,’ said Mr. Muller. The event costs about $200,000, including the tab for installing portable toilets and paying $30,000 for parking at the Pentagon before the Sunday ride to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.
Saturday, President Trump called the riders “Great Patriots” and pledged to help the organization.
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