Rolling Thunder began in 1987 as a demonstration to bring awareness to the plight of prisoners of war (POW) and to those missing in action (MIA). Rolling Thunder originated when four Vietnam Veterans, exercising the First Amendment "Right to Petition and Assemble", organized the first group of 2500 motorcycles to ride through the streets of Washington, DC. This first Rolling Thunder run was made in an attempt to petition the government to take responsibility for the soldiers that were abandoned after the Vietnam War ended.
Today over 250, 000 motorcycles ride during the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day weekend observance, held each year in our nationís capital. Rolling Thunder has evolved to be not only a demonstration for the POW/MIA issue but also a demonstration of patriotism and respect for soldiers and veterans from all wars.