Thanks For Coming
Hope You Had a Great Time
The 18th Anniversary Ride of the Patriots® to Rolling Thunder® was blessed with great people and great weather. We estimate that over 4,500 motorcycles and 7,000 people joined the Ride of the Patriots this year to remember and honor those in uniform who serve bravely to protect our nation and our liberty. We then went on to join with the 400,000+ Rolling Thunder riders who came to Washington, D.C. to honor our veterans and remember those lost or missing soldiers from our nation’s conflicts. We were especially proud to honor our nations heroes in the way that only we can. These heroes represent all of their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, fire fighters, rescue and law enforcement officer and made the event especially memorable for all of us. Riders came from all over the United States and Canada to participate in the 2016 Ride of the Patriots and, most importantly to pay tribute and remember. It was a pleasure to have you with us.
The ongoing military operations in Afghanistan underscore the debt of gratitude we owe those men and women in uniform who serve everyday and put their lives and limbs at risk to protect and help in times of crisis. Those who have lost life and limb are especially remembered. Less publicized but no less appreciated is the sacrifice and service of our uniformed first responders. Your participation in the Ride of the Patriots as well as Rolling Thunder made a statement to the community, our nation and the world that WE WILL NEVER FORGET those who have served, those missing and those who have fallen.
The Ride of the Patriots event would not happen if it were not for Rolling Thunder. They continue to fight for our servicemen and women on many issues. Their advocacy for all veterans is very worthy of our support. They invite and we encourage your continued support of Rolling Thunder. Our hope is that the Ride of the Patriots has and will continue to provide our community an opportunity to participate and honor our veterans and first responders. With the help of our local Police Motor Squads, the event also provides an organized staging area and safe trip to the Pentagon and Rolling Thunder. The Ride of the Patriots has become the signature event for our Chapter and Patriot Harley-Davidson and we hope it will continue to serve our veterans and the community for many years to come.
The City of Fairfax continues to work cooperatively with us to bring a safer, more enjoyable and more meaningful event to the community. We are grateful for the enthusiastic participation of Fairfax City Coucilman Michael DeMarco, Delegate David Bulova, VA State Senator Chap Peterson, Cathrine "Smitty" Smith, Vince Sheehy, Cliff WIlke and our keynote speaker SSG Earl Granville, US Army Retired. The Armed Forces Color Guard from the US Army Military District of Washington was front and center this year followed by the Northern Virginia Firefighters Emerald Society Pipe Band and the Fairfax High School Band added terrific musical tributes. The City of Fairfax and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Vehicles represented the many heroes of 9/11 and were lead by the Fairfax City Firefighters Honor Guard. Fairfax City Police, Fairfax County Police and Arlington County Motor Squads contributed immeasurably to the safety and enjoyment of everyone. A very special thanks to theNorthern Virginia Mustang Club for providing parade vehicles. The ceremonies were ended by TAPS played by Hannah Smith and Jacob Steblien. We thank all of them very much. This event does not happen without their significant investment of time and effort. We owe our thanks to over 170+ of our Chapter members who served on the Steering Committee and Teams. Many other members also jumped in to add their help on Sunday morning to fill a gap or to help someone. Many thanks also to the staff at Patriot Harley-Davidson who helped in so many ways. Great job.
Local businesses also lent us a hand including Sheehy Auto Stores and Captain Pell’s. Please remember and thank and support the organizations and businesses that supported us.
We are now ready to start the planning for the 18th Annual Ride of the Patriots on May 28th 2017. We have a whole list of “lessons learned” and will use them to improve on this year’s event. Thanks again for coming.
See YOU next year at Ride of the Patriots 2017