The Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Canter is proud to play host to a group of local veterans and motorcyclists who are affiliated with the national non-profit group “Rolling Thunder” . The group seeks to promote awareness of Prisoner of War and Missing in Action veterans.
Rolling Thunder is most famous for the “Ride for Freedom” a slow motorcycle route through Washington DC that starts at the Pentagon and travels through DC to end at the Vietnam Memorial wall. The entire event, which occurs the Sunday before Memorial Day annually since 1987, is supported by Thunder Alley, which is a vendor event; tours of significant sites, and speeches by members, supporters, military, and politicians.
The group was started by four men, in particular a former Marine named Ray Manzo, who was inspired by a POW/MIA vigil held by the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club. The idea was that the yearly ride would show that those missing still mattered to their fellow serviceman and their country. A charity closely associated with the group helps military families and active troops with financial assistance.
The local chapter is one of 88 groups spread over 29 states. The event on Saturday will involve a ride that will culminate at the NCMHC, and chapter members will be on hand to tell stories, share experiences, and act as advocates for those who have never returned home.
The public is welcome to listen, ask questions and thank the members for their service, as well as tour the Museum’s military exhibit with its newest addition of a MiA memorial to one of Fremont’s own who is still missing.
The event will be held on Saturday, October 5th starting at 1:00 at the NCMHC, 12 Quarterline, Newaygo.