Rolling Thunder XXIII

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by john1027, May 31, 2010.

  1. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    This past weekend the roar of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles filled the streets of Washington D.C. as Rolling Thunder XXIII took place as a tribute to military members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to their country as prisoners of war (POW) or who have been reported missing in action (MIA).

    Started twenty-three years ago in 1987 by four Vietnam Veterans, the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day weekend observance has evolved to be not only a demonstration for the POW/MIA issue but also a demonstration of patriotism and respect for soldiers and veterans from all wars. This year, over 300,000 motorcycles rides participated. It is a colorful event that is attended by tens of thousands of spectators from all walks of life that travel to the event from all over the country. The ride begins at the Pentagon parking lot and travels over the Memorial Bridge, around the National Mall, and ends at the Lincoln Memorial. Due to the sheer volume of participants, it takes over three hours for all the riders to just leave the staging area to begin their ride.

    Streetshooter is very active in an organization, Friends of the Forgotten that is also active in promoting awareness of the POW/MIA issues in the U.S.

    Friends of the Forgotten

    The variety, color, and models of the motorcycles coupled with the diversity of the crowd makes for a great event for spectators to observe. It is an event that is maybe best documented by video, but there is ample opportunity for still photos as well. All the images were take with the G2 & either the 45-200mm or 20mm.

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  2. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

    Nice story John and thanks for showing some of the impressive bikes those fellas ride. 300,000 is a heck of alot of people, let alone bikes!! The first picture gives me some of the feeling you would have felt with all driving past. And the last one brings a meaning across but i cant' put my finger on what it is, It's just nice.


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  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Thanks John.
    You did a good job. Thanks for the awareness.....
    shooter
     
  4. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    interesting, nice job
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Thanks so much John, it must have been an incredibly moving experience. I appreciate your posting these - and using that G2, too...which I am guessing you like?
     
  6. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Thank you all very much for the feedback. BB, sent you a PM.
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    John, will check my PM box, but I meant to say earlier that one of my favorites from this group is your 14th photo, there's just something about that man's face, as well as the back of his vest...and the whole scene.
     
  8. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    He was by himself, I think, and seemed a little lost. You see a lot of forlorn looks and quiet sadness on the faces of many of the Viet Nam vets at this event. I spent a year there as a young Marine and was blessed and lucky enough to have walked away mostly unscathed. For others though, the war represents a never ending nightmare in so many different ways. Many of the veterans channel or suppress their feelings of solitude from that period although they never can truly forget. When they attend events such as these, their feelings rise to the surface again, as they remember their past years and friends and opportunities long lost. I suppose that is true of all wars.

    Photographer Scott Bourne had a poignant post on his site over the weekend on his memories of some lost friends from the Viet Nam War.

    Scott Bourne, Memorial Day
     
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Thank you John. People sometimes say that photographs should "stand alone" and though there's truth to that, I think having the story can be very important, certainly just reading what you wrote, and then reading Scott Bourne's very moving post and that poem...that poem... Well, you've added so much. Many thanks, John.
     
  10. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    Wow these are great shots and you get a feel for the event :smile:
    For some riders (Older) the beard seems essential:frown: when facial hair is pretty much old hat, but then college professors are mostly fuzz faces:wink:

    edit: Just noted the G2 was used with the 45-200 ... very Motor Bike friendly combo
     
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  11. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    old hat:eek::rofl:
     
  12. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    As well as with the E-PL1. Here is one guy's idea of mobile motor bike photography, although I am not sure you would find this on the syllabus of any photographic online learning center. Hopefully it was at least a wide-angle lens. Also, thanks for the kind words.

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