Rolling Thunder Riders Honor Unknown, Visit With Kids

Rolling Thunder riders visited with kids who lost a parent in military service, and joined in a wreath-laying ceremony for an unknown soldier.

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As part of a weekend of events, Rolling Thunder riders visited with kids who lost a parent in military service, and joined in a wreath-laying ceremony for an unknown soldier. Thus year marks the 25th anniversary of the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a motorcycle rally in the nation's capital. Started in 1988 as a protest to bring more awareness to issues about POW/MIA soldiers, Rolling Thunder now has 90 chapters across the United States and expects more than 900,000 veterans and their supporters to participate in the ride.
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U.S. military veterans Carlos Hollifield (L) of Knoxville, Billy Riley of Union County, N.J., and others carry a wreath before placing it at the grave of an unknown Union solider who died during the Civil War during a ceremony at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
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Veterans salute as Taps is played during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Congressional Cemetery, May 25, 2012.
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Carlos Hollifield (L) of Knoxville, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 31 years, salutes with other veterans during a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of an unknown Union soldier who died during the Civil War.
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A camp mentor holds a military child during veterans' visit to the TAPS "Good Grief Camp" on May 26, in Arlington. Five hundred military children and teens, most of whom lost a parent or sibling in the Afghan and Iraq wars, are attending the annual four-day camp, which is run by TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). The camp helps them learn coping skills and build relationships so they know they are not alone in the grief of their loved one. They meet others of their own age group, learn together and share their feelings, both through group activities and one-on-one mentors, who are all active duty or former military service members. Some 1,200 adults, most of whom are grieving parents and spouses, also attend the National Military Survival Seminar held concurrently with the children's camp.
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A military child revs a motorcycle during a visit from Rolling Thunder riders at the Good Grief Camp.
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Veteran Ron Silbernagel (R) of Basking Ridge, N.J., salutes during a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of an unknown Union soldier who died during the Civil War.
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The ceremony at the Congressional Cemetery is part of weekend events marking the 25th anniversary of the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a motorcycle rally in the nation's capital. Started in 1988 as a protest to bring more awareness to issues about POW/MIA soldiers, Rolling Thunder now has 90 chapters across the United States and expects more than 900,000 veterans and their supporters to participate in the ride.
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Twelve-year-old Martin Given of Springfield, N.J., stands with U.S. military veterans, including his father Mark Given who served in the U.S. Army for eight years, as they hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the Congressional Cemetery.
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Eight-year Army veteran Mark Given and his 12-year-old son Martin Given of Springfield, NJ, ride their motorcycle through the Congressional Cemetery during a wreath-laying ceremony May 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. The ceremony is part of weekend events marking the 25th anniversary of the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a motorcycle rally in the nation's capital. Started in 1988 as a protest to bring more awarness to issues about POW/MIA, Rolling Thunder now has 90 chapters across the United States and expects more than 900,000 veterans and their supporters to participate in the ride. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Led by former cemetary employee and event organizer Terri Maxfield, a group of U.S. military veterans ride their motorcycles through the Congressional Cemetery during a wreath-laying ceremony May 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. The ceremony is part of weekend events marking the 25th anniversary of the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a motorcycle rally in the nation's capital. Started in 1988 as a protest to bring more awarness to issues about POW/MIA, Rolling Thunder now has 90 chapters across the United States and expects more than 900,000 veterans and their supporters to participate in the ride. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Veterans Billy Riley (R) of Union County, N.J., and Carlos Hollifield of Knoxville carry a wreath before placing it at the grave of an unknown Union solider who died during the Civil War.
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Veterans (L-R) Carlos Hollifield of Knoxville, Tom Bender of Clinton, N.J.; and Billy Riley of Union County, N.J., salute during a wreath-laying ceremony.
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Veterans bow their heads during a wreath-laying ceremony.
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