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Straight from the heart: Memorial Day weekend

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Rolling Thunder is in town, 900,000 strong are moving in. This is like Occupy DC on two wheels. There is a schedule of events that include visiting memorials, wreath-laying and such. The events are solemn and the in-between-time is filled with camaraderie.

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With America having been engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the veteran pool has been resupplied.

About what are we remembering?

Young Americans decide one day to serve their country through military service.

They undergo intensive training to prepare them for duty.

They wait and practice, and one day they get orders.

Combat duty, they deploy to a harsh and hostile place where people are trying to kill you.

Orders say kill the enemy and protect and befriend civilians.

An improvised explosive device goes off and blows up the Stryker ahead.

Bullets fly and you fire back fiercely.

The Sergeant next to you is hit and died instantly.

What’s this? Medic, I am hit.

Wounded, but I’ll be back.

Sergeant won’t be.

United States Military Casualties of War

In the slide show post are the tallies of dead and wounded from Americans at war. Omitted are some smaller engagements.

2012 Rolling Thunder Memorial Day Schedule

Saturday, May 26, 2012
Wreathlaying Ceremony – 11:00 a.m.
U.S. Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC (On the Plaza)

Saluting Our Troops - 11:45 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Henry Bacon Dr. and Constitution Ave.
The Stage is just north of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC
Several musical acts and a series of guest speakers will present a full day of tributes. Five custom-made “tribute” motorcycles— one for each branch of military service— will be unveiled to commemorate the Rolling Thunder XXV anniversary.

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Rolling Thunder will assemble at the Pentagon Parking Lot - 7:00 a.m. - Noon.
Departure To Washington, DC - Noon
See a Map of the Route
Speaker Program - 1:30 p.m.
Musical Tribute - 3:00 p.m.
The Stage is located between the Reflecting Pool and the Korean War Memorial