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Vt. Thunder rides to remember - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. Thunder rides to remember

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SHARON, Vt. - Memorial Day observances continuing this holiday weekend, including a motorcycle ride more than one-thousand bikers strong. It's called Vermont Thunder and the riders traveled more than 100 miles Sunday to honor fallen soldiers.  

They ride to remember--to honor the more than 100 Vermonters who never returned from the Vietnam War.

They ride to thank those who have fought for their freedom.  "Memorial Day has always been for the soldier that never made it home," said Nick Hathaway with Vermont Thunder.

More than 1,000 riders rode from Sharon to Enosburg Sunday to honor fallen soldiers on Memorial day. The event put on by Vermont Thunder started with a ceremony at the Vermont Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A wall there lists the names of the more than 7,000 Vermonters who served in Vietnam.  Over a hundred of them died in action and Vermont Thunder will ride one mile for each person that passed away.

Each year the ride takes place on Memorial Day. That's something that Nick Hathaway says is no accident. "This isn't just a holiday. This is a solemn day of remembrance for our soldiers that have never made it back," he said.

As they ride, onlookers stand on bridge overpasses to wave and show support. Riders attach flags, signs and pins to their bikes, and some even brought along their four-legged companions. The event also helps raise money that Vermont Thunder will use to aid veterans. For many veterans, it's a way to help those who continue to serve. "The reason I got involved in Vermont Thunder is because I had an emptiness in my life," Hathaway said.

"It's a family and that's what this shows right here," said Leslie Perez, who has served 29 years in the U.S. Army. Before leaving the Veterans memorial, riders hang a wreath in honor of those soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice. For Powers, Memorial Day is about never forgetting. "I think of all the fallen soldiers--comrades that have gone before us. This ride is to signify the importance of that so that it is not forgotten."

And so they ride. Ride to honor. Ride to memorialize and ride to remember.
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