Monday, May 28, 2012

Bergdahl Parents Lead Rolling Thunder Parade in D.C.

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Motorcyclists ride across Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C.
  • Rolling Thunder
  • Motorcyclists ride across Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., on Sunday as part of the annual Rolling Thunder parade.

The Idaho parents of missing serviceman Bowe Berggdahl led the parade of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists, now in its 25th year, through Washington, D.C., on Sunday. The annual Memorial Day Weekend ride is held to raise awareness about prisoners of war and those missing in action.

The 26-year-old Berdahl, from Hailey, was captured in Afghanistan in 2009 after he finished his guard shift at a combat post.

"Bowe, your family has not forgotten you, your hometown has not forgotten you, your state of Idaho has not forgotten you, and thanks to all of you here today, Washington, D.C., has not forgotten you," said his father, Robert Bergdahl. "We love you, we are proud of you. Stay strong, never give up. We pray for the day that we welcome you home."

The sergeant was captured by Taliban militants, and four videos of him have been released since. The last video was from February 2011, and it's unclear where Bergdahl is being held now.

"We are still searching for him," said John Wagner, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command. "We are actively looking for leads and information on his whereabouts and his condition."

Motorcyclists participating in the Rolling Thunder parade wore yellow wristbands with Bergdahl’s name and the date he went missing on them, along with the traditional biker gear of leather vests and riding boots, though temperatures in Washington reached into the 90s.

"It's not just a bunch of people riding their bikes through D.C.," said Peter Langer, who participated in this year's ride. "It symbolizes our freedom."

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