(Extensions of Remarks - June 26, 2012)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1141-E1142]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. ALLEN B. WEST

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 26, 2012

  Mr. WEST. Mr. Speaker, it is my honor to recognize the 25th 
Anniversary of the Rolling Thunder Demonstration Run, held annually 
over Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC.
  Rolling Thunder was founded in 1987 by Vietnam veterans Ray Manzo, 
Walt Sides, John Holland and Ted Sampley to bring attention and 
awareness to unaccounted for servicemen and women at the conclusion of 
the Vietnam War.

[[Page E1142]]

  Exercising their First Amendment rights under the United States 
Constitution to assemble, these proud veterans organized a motorcycle 
rally to take place in our Nation's Capital to ensure that we, as a 
nation, demand a full accounting of our members of the armed forces 
held as Prisoners of War (POW's) and those still Missing in Action 
  This moving tribute to our American war heroes started in 1988 when 
an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 bikers rode in the streets surrounding the 
United States Capitol, to bring awareness to the POW/MIA issue.
  Over the last 25 years, their efforts to increase the awareness of 
the POW/MIA issue and honoring all military veterans has grown; so have 
the days since the last solider left Vietnam.
  Over Memorial Day 2012, on the 25th Anniversary Rolling Thunder Run, 
an estimated 1.3 million people and 500,000 motorcycles participated 
making it the largest one-day event in our Nation's Capital, and one of 
the largest one-day events in the world.
  Mr. Speaker, as this dome of the United States Capitol stands as a 
beacon of liberty, freedom and democracy throughout the world, it is 
only fitting for the last quarter century that the men and woman who 
have ridden their motorcycles in the shadow of this building send a 
message from our shores and beyond that our American POW's/MIA have 
served honorably and will never be forgotten.
  I would like to add my voice in commending Rolling Thunder for their 
efforts to honor America's POW's/MIA's, and also raise awareness around 
the issues facing the brave men and women who have served and currently 
serve in this nation's military.