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Showing posts with label Harley Davidson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harley Davidson. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Summer Motorcycle Ride Through Rural Virginia and the Death of Stonewall Jackson

A nice day just screams for a bike ride, and of course I took a camera.....

Fairfield Plantation.  The chimney on the left is the fireplace in the room where, on May 10, 1863, Stonewall Jackson succumbed to injuries received 8 days earlier at Chancellorsville, VA. 

I'm always fascinated by the old Astra Motel on Jefferson Davis Highway, south of Massaponax.  This old station wagon has been sitting out front as long as I can remember. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 Rolling Thunder Part IV of IV-- USMC Staff Sergeant Tim Chambers, "The Saluting Marine"

Since spontaneously standing at attention and saluting bikes during the 2002 Rolling Thunder rally, USMC Staff Sergeant  (now retired) Tim Chambers has returned each year to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of  bikers who are, in turn, paying tribute to the nations fallen soldiers. 

Before the arrival of the bikes, civilians would approach Sgt. Chambers to thank him for his service or pass a few words of encouragement for what he does each year. 
Waiting for the bikes. 

An old vet thanks Sgt. Chambers.

Once, during an interview, when asked "Why the salute?" He replied "It's about the pain. A lot of these heroic guys still hurt and if I can relieve their pain for just one brief moment, then I've done my job."

Many bikers returned the salute.  I have each year I've ridden and each time it gives me chills.

I didn't realize the significance of this and the next two photos until later.  In this one, the father, a Vet himself, returns Sgt. Chambers salute...
As he lowers his salute, something great happens, his young son on the back of the bike, begins his own salute.
In completing his salute, he is honoring not only Sgt. Chambers, but his father and all who have served in one action!

As Sgt. Chambers held his salute to the passing bikes, a small group approached from his right.  They raised their hands and returned his salute.....
Then as they stood at attention, saluting an American Hero, a bugle player began a haunting rendition of Taps....
More on Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers, "The Saluting Marine" can be found here:

2013 Rolling Thunder Part III of IV-- The Pentagon 9-11 Memorial

No visit to the Pentagon is complete without a stop at the 9-11 Memorial.

A biker reads the names of those who lost their lives in the attack. 
Benches representing the lives lost with the US Air Force Memorial in the background.  The old barracks in the photo are being torn down to make room for the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. Sadly, they've run out of room....
When The Pentagon was rebuilt, this original, blackened stone was used as a reminder.  If you enlarge the photo, you can see September 11, 2001, engraved on it. 
The lighter colored stones in the middle are what was replaced.  I thought the plane flying over was an eerie contrast. 

A tour guide explains what they will soon be experiencing.

There is A LOT of hatred for Jane Fonda among bikers.  I can't recall ever seeing another person's name worn in this manner on patches.   If you don't know why, do some research and see where you stand on the subject...
A biker at the Pentagon memorial sign.

2013 Rolling Thunder Part II of IV-- The Bikers

Bikers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, skill levels, convictions, and abilities.  This old vet was playing Amazing Grace in the Pentagon parking lot when I stopped to get a pic.  I didn't even notice at first that he was perfectly lined up to get the flag and the Washington Monument in the background. 
Waiting to park.  There are typically about 500,000 bikes riding in Rolling Thunder

A lot of HOG Chapters rode from various locations with police escorts.
One of our favorite charities...
Even though the Rally started at noon, with so many riders, it was several hours before some started to ride.  We were in the first of four or five parking lots, and it still took two hours of bikes leaving before we moved.  Several people took advantage of the wait by catching up on their sleep!!
This Marine had been retired for over 20 years and still wore his uniform for the ride! 

Waiting to ride...
The rows went one at a time.  From start to finish, it took 2 to 3 minutes just for one row of bikes to depart.  With hundreds of rows of bikes just in our lot alone, you can see why it takes so long to get moving.

The LONG wait!!!

Every biker organization you can think of is represented.