NESHANIC STATION, N.J., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Gen. Richard B. Myers, USAF (Ret.) will be the keynote speaker on May 30 during Rolling Thunder's 23rd annual Memorial Day weekend demonstration May 28-30, 2010, in support of POW/MIA and veterans' issues. Gen. Myers was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2001 until his retirement in September 2005.
As chairman, Gen. Myers was the United States military's highest ranking uniformed officer and in this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council during the earliest stages of the War on Terror. Gen. Myers has participated in the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day events for several years, usually riding his motorcycle at the head of the motorcade that travels from the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each year for the Sunday program.
Other speakers for the Sunday program include:
- Rolling Thunder Executive Director Sgt. Artie Muller
- Former Green Beret, Operation Enduring Freedom veteran and U.S. Senate candidate from Arkansas Trevor Drown
- Veterans' activist and long-time Rolling Thunder supporter Nikki Mendocino
- Dolores Alfond, national chairperson, National Alliance of Families of POWs/MIAs
- Johnie E. Webb, deputy to the commander for public relations and legislative affairs, Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC)
Providing musical tributes at the Sunday event once again will be internationally known singer/entertainer Nancy Sinatra, along with the U.S. Army Band "Downrange," country singer Gordon Painter, and the Loch Rannoch Pipe & Drum Band. The weekend lineup also includes the traditional Friday night candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Wall and the Saturday "Salute to Our Troops" program at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, followed by a reception honoring families of POWs/MIAs, Gold Star/Blue Star families, and wounded veterans, at the Hyatt Crystal City (8 p.m.).
A new addition this year is the inaugural ride of the Rolling Thunder Inc. Flame of Freedom, which will be transported via motorcycle escort across country, beginning in Taos, NM, in early May, arriving in Washington, DC, on May 27. The Flame will be used at the candlelight vigil to escort Gold Star families as they walk along the Vietnam Wall during the remembrance. Complete event details will be available in the online press room at the Rolling Thunder Inc. National web site. Click here to get more information about the Flame of Freedom.
This year, Rolling Thunder is emphasizing the urgency of keeping their mission and messages current in the face of competing national issues. "With the economic recovery and healthcare reform taking center stage, the POW/MIA issue is one that nobody in our government wants to address anymore. If they keep dragging their feet, sooner or later anyone who was captured alive will have passed away. But for their families, there is never any closure. Searching for and returning remains is a valid mission but there is too much evidence that live POWs were left behind, particularly in Southeast Asia, and we shouldn't give up efforts to find them," said Rolling Thunder National Executive Director and co-founder Artie Muller.
"As a case in point, for years we have been trying to get legislation passed that would create a House Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. In the 110th Congress we had nearly 300 co-sponsors and in this session we have nearly 250, yet the resolution has not come to the floor for a vote. We do not understand why this bill is being blocked," he added.
About Rolling Thunder
Incorporated in 1995, Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a class 501 C-4 non-profit organization with over 90 chartered chapters throughout the United States. Membership comprises men and women with 40-45% being non-veterans and the balance being veterans from all wars and peacetime. Although many of its members ride motorcycles, a person does not have to own or ride a motorcycle to be a member, just the time and willingness to be an advocate for our troops, veterans, and POW/MIAs. For more information about Rolling Thunder, visit the organization's web site at http://www.rollingthunder1.com/index.html.
Information for Media
Program details and background information, including Rolling Thunder's message points, will be available in the online press room and are updated as needed. Members of Rolling Thunder's national media committee will be available at event locations throughout the weekend to assist working press with interviews, photographs, and any other needs. For more information or to schedule interviews in advance, please contact Nancy Regg, national media committee chairperson, at (908) 310-3268 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Rolling Thunder, Inc.