Monday, June 6, 2011

Rumbling in Remembrance

On Saturday we rode for ourselves, but on Sunday we rode for others in the Idaho Patriot Thunder Rally. Here's a local news story about the event. This is the second year it was held and was open to all bikes (not just Harleys).

The motorcycle community has a long, closely-knit history with veterans and the military. Having learned how to ride in the military, many war veterans returned home and bought a motorcycle. They also found the same camaraderie with fellow bikers as they had in their unit, and thus the biker "gang" was born. Over the years, this subculture grew to incorporate motorcycle enthusiasts from all different walks of life, and spawned a diverse and distinctive community. Indeed, "bikers" are a uniquely American institution. So if you see passing bikers extend a hand to each other on the road, they're acknowledging kin on two wheels.

And the motorcycle community in America has never forgotten its roots. Even today, bike rallies regularly support those charities benefiting veterans, wounded soldiers and POW/MIA. It's also typical to find vests and jackets emblazoned with patches designating the military status of the wearer, and the support of POW/MIA. For instance, hubby has a giant POW/MIA patch on the back of his vest, and a Seabees pin to honor his Grandpa who served in this division of the Navy in WWII. This region of Idaho also has a strong military presence with Gowen Field in Boise, and Mountain Home Air Force base just thirty minutes away.

So it's no surprise then that this year's rally - with nice weather this time - attracted a record-breaking 727 bikes, making it the biggest rally ever in Idaho! It was so wonderful to see all kinds of people show up with all kinds of bikes, united in a common purpose. America isn't about Britney Spears, Jersey Shore, Donald Trump and billionaire CEOs. That's all superficial crud. This country really is about you and me, the everyday folks who step up to the plate and do what we can to help our fellows. To be reminded of this, in the rumbling sea of chrome and leather, was humbling and joyous. 

So here's a photo montage of the day for your enjoyment (click on the images to make them bigger)...

On display was a vintage army jeep, which also was used to haul in our "start gun."
The parking lot at the Meridian Harley-Davidson soon filled to capacity with bikes!

The presentation of the colors. The group in the back singing the Star Spangled Banner includes Miss Idaho. Our Governor and First Lady also showed up and gave a speech.

 A fitting shot for the day.

I was most excited about this guy! When that sucker went off I about died with giddiness!

At that point, the bikes rumbled to life and we headed out - our first stop, Mountain Home!

Here we go!

As we went through town and along the interstate, people lined the streets and overpasses to wave at us. I waved back, of course! Cars and truckers honked in support!

This enormous flag greeted us as we rolled into Mountain Home, attached to the ladder of a fire engine that belonged to the Mountain Home Fire Department. Quite a sight!

 Ordinarily we would have stopped at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, but it was closed to the public for security reasons. So we stopped at the local park instead for a drink and yak break. We also got a chance to admire this neat custom bike better, too. I love the propeller!
It's customary for bikers to have a good luck bell attached to their bike, given to them by another biker. Even the cops had them!

I thought this was awesome!

Our last stop was the Warhawk Air Museum, located in the Nampa Municipal Airport. Hubby and I had been meaning to go for years and were so happy that it was opened for the ride. I thought it was just planes, but oh was so much more! What's especially great is that one of the curators took a great deal of time to document the personal back story behind the items. There are dozens of binders containing the family history, letters, diary entries, poems and any curiosities behind most of the pieces. We're definitely going to return, and early in the day so we have time to read through those binders!


I can't imagine eating biscuits for a daily ration. They aren't even covered in chocolate.
Good gravy! Look at that gun! Is that not terrifying? If some guy came at me with that thing, I'd shriek and beat feet the other way.

 I loved these old typewriters. We are so spoiled today.

They had cases of "war jewelry." I find this so interesting, given the lack of "circumstance" our recent wars have had in our society.
 Here's a demo display of nautical knots. I would make the worst sailor - I can barely remember how to tie my shoes.
This display was so neat!
I loved this field record player. Music is such a human necessity, isn't it?
Here's a Seabees banner - go Grandpa!

I'll leave you with a beautiful rose, from one of the many rose bushes that grow in front of the Meridian Harley-Davidson dealership. Their aroma was heavenly! Life is sweet, thanks to those who fought and died for us.

"There is only one thing that can form a bond between men, and that is gratitude...we cannot give someone else greater power over us than we have ourselves. " ~ Baron de Montesquieu

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