NESHANIC STATION, N.J., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bob and Jani Bergdahl, parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. Army soldier who has been held as a prisoner of war by the Taliban in Afghanistan since June 2009, will be featured speakers as Rolling Thunder Inc. marks the 25th anniversary of the Memorial Day Demonstration in Washington, D.C., May 25-27, 2012. They will speak during the May 27 program, which will also include appearances by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ); Cmdr. Kirk S. Lippold, USN (Ret)., the former commanding officer of the USS Cole; Lynn O'Shea, Director of Research for the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen, along with Col. Patricia S. Blassie, Commander of the Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center; Mike Shelby (aka NY Myke), a Vietnam veteran who participated in the inauguration of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in 1982; Sgt. Matthew Smith, returning from Afghanistan in October 2011 and Steve Thompson, Family & Veteran Liaison - Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
In addition to the speakers, a lineup of celebrity entertainers is slated to provide a fitting musical tribute, including long-time veterans' supporters and internationally renowned entertainers Nancy Sinatra and Connie Stevens, as well as perennial favorite Gordon Painter, Loch Rannoch Pipe & Drum, country artists Rockie Lynne and the Dean Crawford Dunn's River Band.
Due to continuing construction around the Lincoln Memorial, the 25th anniversary events will once again be located in the area between the Reflecting Pool and the Korean Memorial. Here's a look at the weekend's events:
- Friday, May 25
- Historic Congressional Cemetery wreath presentation - 10 a.m.
- Candle Light vigil at the Vietnam Wall led by the Flame of Freedom which will escort Gold Star and Blue Star families to honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to their country, and those who are still missing or held prisoner - 8:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 26
- TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) – Crystal Gateway Marriott - visit with the children of fallen heroes 9 a.m.
- Harley-Davidson of Washington - 9407 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD - free barbeque 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- U.S. Navy Memorial wreath presentation - 11 a.m.
- Rolling Thunder Hospitality Room - Hyatt Regency, Crystal City - 8 p.m.
- Sunday, May 27
- Rolling Thunder Demonstration - leaves Pentagon North Parking Lot at noon
- Program of speakers and Musical Tribute to Veterans at the stage in the field between the Reflecting Pool and Korean Memorial from 1:30 - 5 p.m.
Complete details, including biographies on speakers and entertainers, are available in the Rolling Thunder online press room. News media are encouraged to check back often for updates.
About Rolling Thunder
Incorporated in 1995, Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a class 501C-4 non-profit organization with over 100 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 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.