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Remember them for their Sacrifice – Memorial Day 2022

By General Posts

This Memorial Day weekend take a moment and remember the sacrifices made by many while fighting for the freedoms each of us enjoy everyday. In streets across our nation traditional motorcycle events honoring those lost in military service will be held. We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are forever grateful to our brothers and sisters lost defending the freedoms we cherish.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Message from MRF: As we spend time with family and friends, let’s all take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country Free. We at the MRF wish you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Visit: https://mrf.org/

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.

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We all at Bikernet.com honor and remember our brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces.

Keep America Free. Keep Riding Free Forever.

Patriots Motorcycle Ride throughout USA

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by Stuart Price from https://www.fourstateshomepage.com

JOPLIN, MO – Today was an ideal day to spend on a motorcycle, and that’s what a large group of riders did.

A group, that made its only official stop in the state of Missouri, in Joplin.

Hideout Harley-Davidson in Joplin was the one and only stop in the Show-Me State for the Nation of Patriots motorcycle ride.

An event that takes a single American flag on tour throughout the U.S. which starts on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day.

Roger Beckley, who spent nearly 30 years in the U.S. Army had the honor of bearing the flag through his native state of Kansas.

“I retired in 2009. I’ve been to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, in today’s world, I don’t know how much respect is still out there for this flag and so when we can put it on a bike and ride it down the road and people see it coming, it makes them think what it is and what’s it stand for,” Says Beckley.

Beckley took an oath to carry the flag to honor the nation’s veterans, the enlisted, and their families.

On Saturday many of these same riders will be joined by others from Arkansas for its next destination, which will be fort smith, before eventually making its way back to Nevada.

This is the 12th year for the event and each year it starts and ends in the same state, this year it ends in Las Vegas.

But veterans aren’t the only riders who take part in the event, so do people like Ryan Mitchell, the regional commander for the Nation of Patriots, who rides with the procession through three of the four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

He says it’s his chance to serve those that did serve their country.

“Raising money and helping veterans, I’m not a veteran but I do everything I can to help veterans and so this just fills my heart to see all these bikes and all these people show up and raise money to help the veterans that need it, um they’ve already gave us our freedom, it’s time for us to give them their freedom back.” Says Mitchell.

Once the flag makes it back to its state of origin, it’s retired and donated to a worthy veteran or volunteer.

Hideout Harley-Davidson and Four Kings of Oklahoma hold car and bike show

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by Benjamin Kouchnerkavich from https://www.fourstateshomepage.com

JOPLIN, MO. – Hideout Harley-Davidson and a motorcycle club are celebrating Memorial Weekend with a car and bike show.

The Four Kings of Oklahoma held Saturday’s event to raise money for first responders.

In addition to the cars and bikes, food trucks, local vendors and even artists were on hand.

Artist Len Nordmann say, he has traveled the country making automotive art for over 25 years.

Len Nordmann, Artist, says, “I’ve always had a love for automobiles and I sold my first painting when I was 10 years old. And from then on, I’ve always had an interest in doing special buildings and also doing homes and doing businesses and then also cars.”

Dale Wano, Sales Manager, says, “We just want to have everybody come out, have a great time, look at some awesome cars, look at some awesome motorcycles and enjoy the fellowship of being together.”

They also gave out door prizes from local businesses.

SEE: https://www.hideouthd.com/

Veterans plan Memorial Day motorcycle ride despite roadblock

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by Angie Angers from https://www.baynews9.com

It’s a Memorial Day tradition for tens of thousands of veterans to ride their motorcycles to the nation’s capital.

Pentagon had blocked their permit request, but vets say they are going regardless

This time, the event was nearly in jeopardy.

Every May for more than 30 years, veterans from all over the country have made the trip to honor those gone and those still missing in action.

“Not only continue the tradition of holding Congress and the government accountable for trying to find these over 82,000 missing veterans, but also for veteran suicide,” said organizer Tom McNamara with AMVETS.

McNamara says they’re expecting roughly 100,000 veterans and they’d received nine out of the 10 permits needed to make the trip happen.

But just recently, defense officials denied their application to use the Pentagon’s parking lot like they have for the last three decades.

“Using our satellite views on how we’re going to stage motorcycles, and a month ago they came back and said, ‘No, we’re not gonna do it, and didn’t give us an answer as to why,’” McNamara said.

Officials of the Pentagon later cited COVID safety concerns and left AMVETS scrambling for another plan.

Now Rep. Brian Mast is involved and is accusing leaders of blocking the tradition.

He sent a strongly-worded letter to Congress pushing them to reconsider.

McNamara says — either way — the veterans are using their constitutional right to protest and will be coming to D.C. no matter what.

“As our First Amendment right, these people are coming anyway, we’re going to be there anyway. So now, we’re just lining up on the streets,” he said.

They just want to keep the tradition alive.

“Let’s just say Congress will know about it,” McNamara said with a laugh.

The ride is set to take place on May 30. Organizers say they will release a final schedule and route for the event within the week.

View AMVETS website for the event at https://amvets.org/rolling-to-remember-demonstration-ride/

Official Website for the event is https://www.rollingtoremember.com/

Pentagon rejects permit request by veterans group for Memorial Day motorcycle ride

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by Nikki Wentling from https://www.stripes.com

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department rejected a request from organizers of a traditional Memorial Day weekend motorcycle ride in the nation’s capital, throwing logistics of the event into uncertainty just weeks before it is scheduled to take place.

Motorcyclists typically use the Pentagon’s parking lot as a staging area for the ride, but defense officials denied the permit application Friday for this year’s event. Officials cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the size of the expected crowd as the reason.

Despite the denial, thousands of motorcyclists are planning to gather in Washington during Memorial Day weekend. As of Monday, organizers didn’t know where to gather the riders before and after they drive along the National Mall.

AMVETS, a national veterans organization, is coordinating the motorcycle ride. The group said it was committed to still running the event on May 30 and organizers were searching Monday for a backup plan.

“There are no options with as much space and convenient routes to the memorials, meaning it will be more difficult, disruptive, and expensive than if the Pentagon parking lots were available,” said Joe Chenelly, national executive director of AMVETS.

The group criticized the Pentagon’s slow decision-making process. Chenelly said he applied in July to use the Pentagon parking lot on May 30. He was expecting to hear back by January.

Chenelly told the Pentagon last month that he needed an answer by April 16. Officials called with their decision on Friday.

“The biggest disappointment in the Pentagon’s denial was that AMVETS was ignored for months as its professional staff in Washington requested numerous times an opportunity to hear the Defense Department’s concerns and present a [coronavirus] safety plan,” Jan Brown, the national commander of AMVETS, said in a statement.

AMVETS leaders said they were confident they could hold a “safe, reasonable demonstration outdoors that incorporates social distancing, masking where appropriate, and sanitation stations.”

The group said it is a member of President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 Community Corps, which is a contingent of local leaders and prominent organizations who were recruited to help inform and encourage Americans who might be hesitant to receive a vaccine.

“The administration included AMVETS in this new group as ‘a trusted voice in communities across the United States,’ but the Pentagon wouldn’t have a conversation with us to share their concerns and give us the chance to address them before deciding to refuse our application,” Chenelly said.

Rolling Thunder operated a motorcycle ride through Washington for 32 years before hosting its last event in 2019. AMVETS took over in 2020 and planned an event to replace the popular ride. It was designed to raise awareness for prisoners of war and troops still missing in action, as well as the issue of veteran suicide.

The event, now titled Rolling to Remember, was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers say Pentagon is jeopardizing Memorial Day motorcycle ride

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by Nikki Wentling from https://www.stripes.com

Organizers of the traditional Memorial Day motorcycle ride in the nation’s capital accused the Pentagon on Tuesday of jeopardizing the event.

AMVETS, the national veterans group organizing the ride, said the Defense Department has ignored its application to use the Pentagon parking lot as a staging area. For 32 consecutive years, thousands of motorcyclists gathered in the parking lot before and after the ride around the National Mall.

There are fewer than 40 days until the event, and the Pentagon hasn’t communicated its decision, said Joe Chenelly, national executive director of AMVETS.

The Pentagon “won’t even talk to us,” Chenelly said. “We’ve been trying to really be good partners in all of this and not blast the Pentagon, but we’ve gotten to point recently where we have to put the pressure on them.”

Chenelly said he submitted an application in July to use the Pentagon parking lot on May 30 this year. He was expecting to hear back by January, but no response came.

The Pentagon’s special events office sent Chenelly an approved permit earlier this month but then rescinded the approval eight days later and said they hadn’t made a final decision. At that time, Chenelly told the Pentagon he needed an answer by April 16.

“It’s April 20 today, and we still haven’t heard anything back,” Chenelly said Tuesday.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday that “there’s been no decision yet.” She cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as the cause of the delay and said the department is monitoring community spread of the virus. Masks and social distancing are required on Pentagon grounds, she said.

“The permit request is still being evaluated in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Gough said.

AMVETS has gained approvals for the event from the National Park Service, Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Fire Department, Virginia State Police and the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

Tens of thousands of motorcyclists are planning to travel to Washington for a Memorial Day ride, regardless of whether they have a place to gather, Chenelly said. He’s working with the mayor’s office on another plan to host riders in the parking lot of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

The stadium, in the city’s northeast quadrant, is much farther from the National Mall than the Pentagon. Hosting riders there would require the city to shut down a busy section of the Capitol Beltway, an interstate highway surrounding Washington, for about four hours, Chenelly said. AMVETS planned to meet Wednesday with city officials to discuss the plan.

In reaction to the news of the Pentagon not issuing a permit, riders have been posting online about traveling to Washington in large groups and shutting down highways themselves, Chenelly said. He worries about the potential safety risks that would pose.

“We could see chaos if it’s not coordinated,” Chenelly said. “So, we’re really concerned by that. We want a coordinated, safe, impactful demonstration where people can come, be seen and heard, and then leave.”

Earlier this month, Chenelly reached out to members of Congress for help persuading the Pentagon to approve the permit. On Tuesday, Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Austin, urging him to step in and allow AMVETS to use the Pentagon as a staging ground.

Mast also issued a public statement criticizing the Pentagon and President Joe Biden’s administration for interfering with the event.

“We are blessed beyond words to be citizens of the greatest country on Earth, and only live free thanks to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mast said. “But the Biden administration seems intent on restricting that freedom, and now, even restricting Memorial Day ceremonies.”

Rolling Thunder operated a motorcycle ride through Washington for 32 years before hosting its last event in 2019. AMVETS took over in 2020 and planned an event to replace the popular Rolling Thunder ride. It was designed to raise awareness for prisoners of war and troops still missing in action, as well as the issue of veteran suicide.

The event, now titled Rolling to Remember, was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. AMVETS has made efforts this year to reduce capacity, put space between riders and supply hand sanitizing stations, Chenelly said.

Organizers cancel Memorial Day motorcycle ride in Washington

By General Posts

By NIKKI WENTLING from https://www.stripes.com

WASHINGTON – A motorcycle rally in the nation’s capital, designed to replace the popular Rolling Thunder event, won’t happen on Memorial Day weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced Tuesday night.

AMVETS took over plans for a motorcycle ride through Washington after Rolling Thunder organizers announced that 2019 would be their last event. Rolling Thunder, a 32-year-old tradition, attracted hundreds of thousands of participants every Memorial Day weekend.

AMVETS planned a similar event, Rolling to Remember, for the weekend of May 23.

“As always, the health and safety of our riders and the veteran community is our top priority,” AMVETS said in a statement. “Due to the federal and state restrictions on public gathers and the guidance of the public health officials amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rolling to Remember motorcycle demonstration will not take place in Washington, D.C.”

The goal of the three-day event was to focus on raising awareness for prisoners of war and troops still missing in action, as well as the issue of veterans suicide.

Instead of the in-person ride and rally, AMVETS asked motorcyclists to ride 22 miles on May 24 in their local communities, while following social distancing guidelines. The 22 miles recognizes an often-cited statistic that 22 veterans die by suicide every day. Participants can download a phone app titled “REVER” to track and share their ride.

The weekend Rolling to Remember activities were expected to kick off May 22 with “Blessing of the Bikes” at the Washington National Cathedral. AMVETS was working with the National Park Service to have a stage on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with speakers and other programming. Then, on May 24, motorcyclists were scheduled to ride past the White House, the Capitol Building, around the National Mall and stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

The estimated cost of the weekend event, which was free for participants, was $400,000.

AMVETS said they would continue planning an event in Washington for 2021.

“We appreciate your support and flexibility during an unprecedented time in our nation’s history,” AMVETS said. “We look forward to coming together, even stronger than before, to continue this important tradition in person in 2021.”