President Donald Trump opened up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to a group of motorcycle-riding veterans on Friday, May 22, according to the New York Post. Trump and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie honored the service of the veterans just days before Memorial Day.
Journalists took photos and videos as the leather-clad vets burned rubber in front of the White House and blasted Guns N’ Roses, carrying American flags on the backs of their bikes.
The NY Post reported that there were more than a dozen veterans who took part in the display. You can see a video from the event below.
Riding on the White House grounds. pic.twitter.com/doJypcp3Pw
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) May 22, 2020
The group was part of an organization called Rolling Thunder, which is a veterans’ advocacy group. According to the group’s website, their mission is to educate and facilitate the memory of service members who were abandoned after the Vietnam War.
“The Rolling Thunder Washington, DC First Amendment Demonstration Run has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.”
The national event was canceled, however, due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and only local riders partook in Friday’s White House demonstration.
The organization’s website lists the number of unaccounted for and missing in action from each war dating back to World War I, along with the colors used to identify the memory of those lost.
According to the website, their Rolling Thunder Washington, DC First Amendment Demonstration Run “is an annual protest and gathering that first started in 1988.”
“Motorcycle riders from around the nation, and even around the world rally in the Pentagon parking lots and then begin riding a designated route through the Mall area of Washington, D.C. Afterward, it is an opportunity to meet old and new friends, pay respect at the memorials and participate in the Memorial Day events.”
“The event is an actual demonstration/protest to bring awareness and accountability for POWs and MIAs left behind.”
The president observed the ride from the balcony of the Blue Room at the White House as the “Eye Of The Tiger” played. Trump waved and acknowledged the bikers and briefly spoke to them about what he believed was a shared mission.
Trump’s presence at the biker rally came on the heels of a rushed press briefing where he announced that he was proclaiming churches to be essential, and would override state governors if necessary. The Inquisitr reported that Trump’s statement seems to be an effort to push Democratic governors into allowing churches to exercise their right to assembly without fear of retribution from local authorities.