MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - Hundreds of motorcycle riders from Florida and beyond rode out from Brevard’s Veterans Memorial Center for Sunday morning's Rolling Thunder ride.
"It will head down US-1 south, across the Pineda Causeway, and head north on A1A through Cocoa Beach," said Bob Ericson, Rolling Thunder organizer.
In the past, Rolling Thunder always rolled through our nation's capital, Washington D.C. However, because of the pandemic, they say they decided to decentralize it and move it to different states and regions. It will stay that way from now on.
"According to FBI aerial surveillance there was 1.7 million motorcycles in DC in 2019," Ericson said. "I think they said, 'No more, we can't handle that.'"
The goal of Rolling Thunder is to bring attention to America’s missing-in-action servicemen and women and help bring them home. For example, the ride would be for people like U.S. Army Captain Herbert Crosby, who was killed in the Vietnam War.
"They say ‘remains’ – I've got altogether six teeth, two bone shards, and this dog tag that he had on him when he went down. He was a helicopter gunship pilot in Vietnam," said Crosby’s sister, Marylou Crosby Wade, who attended the ride.
After confirming his remains through DNA testing, they were finally given a proper burial.
"My mother was still alive, she was able to attend the funeral with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery," Crosby Wade said.
Crosby had been one of the more than 80,000 Americans whose remains still lay on foreign battlefields. Riders say it's important to honor them.
"They dedicated their life so we could have the freedoms we do today," said rider Michele Marin. "It's important we give back and show them we appreciate them."
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