Photos: Rolling Thunder Through the Years

After more than 30 years, Rolling Thunder will end its annual ride that brings thousands of bikers to D.C. to honor military members on Memorial Day weekend 2019.

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Joseph Kaczmarek/NBC10
After more than 30 years, Rolling Thunder will end its ride that brings thousands of bikers to D.C. to honor military members each year. The last ride will be in May 2019. Pictured here: the scene at Rolling Thunder in May 1996.
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Bikers in May 2002.
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Rolling Thunder in May 1999
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Christal Dunlow, 5, of Emporia, Virginia, greets bikers during the annual Rolling Thunder parade May 25, 2003 in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of motorcyclists from around the country took part in the parade to mark the Memorial Day weekend and paid tribute to those missing in action and prisoners of war. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Fed Bletz of Saranac, Michigan, sits in a bamboo cage which is similar to the one Viet Cong used to keep prisoners in the Vietnam war, May 25, 2003 in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of motorcyclists from around the country took part in the parade to mark the Memorial Day weekend and paid tribute to those missing in action and prisoners of war. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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NBC Bay Area
A Marine salutes to bikers during the annual Rolling Thunder parade May 25, 2003 in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of motorcyclists from around the country took part in the parade to mark the Memorial Day weekend and paid tribute to those missing in action and prisoners of war. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Motorcyclists participating in the 17th annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Rally make their way across the Memorial Bridge May 30, 2004 into Washington, D.C. More than 250, 000 bikers rode from the Pentagon in Virginia to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Motorcyclists participating in the 17th annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Rally make their way across the Memorial Bridge May 30, 2004 into Washington, D.C. More than 250, 000 bikers rode from the Pentagon in Virginia to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Onlookers cheer as motorcyclists participating in the 17th annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Rally make their way across the Memorial Bridge, May 30, 2004 into Washington, D.C. More than 250, 000 bikers rode from the Pentagon in Virginia to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Motorcyclists participating in the 17th Annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Rally greet onlookers while making their way across the Memorial Bridge, May 30, 2004 into Washington, D.C. More than 250, 000 bikers rode from the Pentagon in Virginia to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Motorcyclists participating in the 17th annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Rally make their way across the Memorial Bridge May 30, 2004 into Washington, D.C. More than 250, 000 bikers rode from the Pentagon in Virginia to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Motorcycle riders participating in Rolling Thunder ride past the Lincoln Memorial May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Motorcycle riders participating in Rolling Thunder ride across Memorial Bridge May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Motorcycle riders participating in Rolling Thunder ride across Memorial Bridge May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Motorcycle riders give spectaters high fives while participating in Rolling Thunder May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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A spectator holds an American flag while motorcycle riders participating in Rolling Thunder ride across Memorial Bridge May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
People walk through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Dressed in a Civil War uniform, Tony Meadows of Woodbridge, Virginia, watches as motorcycles participating in Rolling Thunder ride past, May 29, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders have come to the nation's capital along with other veterans for the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom," to commemorate the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIAs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Bikers cross the Memorial Bridge during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capital to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Bikers cross the Memorial Bridge during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capital to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Bikers cross the Memorial Bridge during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capital to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Bikers ride during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capitol to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Veterans hug after posing for a group photo with other veterans and bikers in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capital to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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A man in a cage, representing POWs and MIAs, is carried passed the Lincoln Memorial during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capital to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Brian Biery
Tourists visit Vietnam Veterans Memorial during the 19th Rolling Thunder, May 28, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Thousands of motorcyclists traveled to the nation's capital to ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to rally for veterans' rights. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
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Members of Rolling Thunder listen as names are read during a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, April 21, 2008 in Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund honored 75 veterans who served during the Vietnam War. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and military veterans mix in the Pentagon's parking lot before the start of the Rolling Thunder rally, May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Although not an official guest, former U.S. vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin participated in the motorcycle parade from the Pentagon to the National Mall. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Isaiah, a 10-year-old chihuahua dressed as Gen. George Patton and owned by Buddy Sours of Browntown, Virginia, joined thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and military veterans in the Pentagon parking lot before the start of Rolling Thunder, May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Isaiah has more the 45,000 miles on a motorcycle; this was his sixth year participating in Rolling Thunder. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Former U.S. vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin rides on the back of a motorcycle before participating in Rolling Thunder, May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Sarah Palin greets some of the thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and military veterans participating in Rolling Thunder, May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Palin rode in the motorcycle parade from the Pentagon to the National Mall. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and military veterans mix in the Pentagon's parking lot before the start of Rolling Thunder, May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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A giant American flag is hoisted by motorcyclists and Vietnam veterans from across the country as they prepare to ride in the Rolling Thunder motorcycle parade, May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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A military child revs a motorcycle during a Rolling Thunder veterans' visit to the TAPS "Good Grief Camp" on May 26, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia. 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. The TAPS slogan is "Remember the Love. Celebrate the Life. Share the Journey." (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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A camp mentor holds a military child during a Rolling Thunder veterans' visit to the TAPS Good Grief Camp on May 26, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Bikers participate in a Blessing of the Bikes event at the National Cathedral, May 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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A reverend blesses bikes during a Blessing of the Bikes event at the National Cathedral May 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Rolling Thunder marked its 30th anniversary of its annual Ride for Freedom motorcycle procession and commemorative events for raising awareness of POW and MIA issues. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The Rev. Carl Walter Wright, Bishop Suffragan for Armed Service and Federal Ministries, blesses bikes during a Blessing of the Bikes event at the National Cathedral, May 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Bikers participate in a Blessing of the Bikes event at the National Cathedral, May 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Rolling Thunder marked the 30th anniversary of its annual Ride for Freedom motorcycle procession and commemorative events for raising awareness of POW and MIA issues. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Bikers participate in a Blessing of the Bikes event at the National Cathedral May 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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