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Myers Joins 400,000 Riders in Rolling Thunder Tribute

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2004 – Like thousands of other Vietnam veterans, Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers donned his leather vest and added the rumble of his Harley-Davidson to the Rolling Thunder tribute in Washington May 30.

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers and his wife, Mary Jo, get ready to rumble across the Memorial Bridge during Rolling Thunder May 30. The chairman and his wife joined about 400,000 riders in the annual Memorial Day weekend tribute. Photo Petty Officer 1st Class Bob Lamb, USN
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The chairman, an avid motorcyclist, and his wife, Mary Jo, joined an estimated 400,000 other riders who drove from the Pentagon across the Potomac River via Memorial Bridge to the National Mall's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, U.S. Capitol and Jefferson Memorial. Dressed in black leather and flying American flags, the riders rode as a tribute to those killed in Vietnam and to remember those missing from all conflicts.

"Boy, what a welcome they got on the streets of Washington, D.C. -- quite a contrast from when they came from war, in most cases," the chairman said on Fox News May 31.

"As you turn the corner onto Memorial Bridge, and there are hundreds, thousands of people lining the streets, and they're all cheering, they're all waving American flags, and there's a chill that goes up your spine that is so, so important," he told CNN.

Myers said that following his first tour in Vietnam, officials in San Francisco had told returning service members to change into civilian clothes before traveling in the States so they wouldn't be jeered at.

The chairman said Rolling Thunder is " a very appropriate event, and very poignant for many people, including myself."

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Gen. Richard B. Myers

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageJoint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers speaks with a fellow Vietnam vet during the annual Rolling Thunder ride May 30. This year's event started in Washington's Maryland suburbs, restaged at the Pentagon, situated in Virginia right across the Potomac River from Washington, and then traveled across Memorial Bridge to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, U.S. Capitol and Jefferson Memorial. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bob Lamb, USN  
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