Memorial Day, Washington, DC

(13 photos)

Rolling Thunder is an annual motorcycle rally that is held in Washington, DC during the Memorial Day weekend to call for the government’s recognition and protection of Prisoners of War (POWs) and those Missing in Action (MIAs). The tribute to American war heroes started out in 1988 with 2,500 participants. Now approximately 900,000 participants and spectators are involved with this annual demonstration in Washington, DC.   — From DC.about.com —

This year, I set off with my husband to find the perfect spot to photograph Rolling Thunder as they entered DC over the Memorial Bridge. I thought the back of the Lincoln Memorial would be perfect. Once up there, I realized that it was a good spot to watch from but it was too far to photograph without a zoom lens. From that vantage point, though, I spied a lone videographer on a median right at the end of the bridge and knew that was where I wanted to be. So off we went.

I was the second one there, but it wasn’t long before others joined – turns out it was the prime spot for a few major news outlets. CBS and NBC were there, as were others with press credentials, including one photographer from the Associated Press armed with two full-frame Nikons slung across each shoulder. And here I was with my little Fuji mounted on my tripod amongst the big boys! I got into a great conversation with the guy from AP, who had some fabulous stories to tell. He was the first, but not the last, to be intrigued by the Fuji.

Fuji X100-T up against cameras from NBC, CBS, and AP.

Rolling Thunder Press

And then Rolling Thunder began to arrive, and conversations stopped as each of us began shooting.

Rollling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 2015

Rolling Thunder 112015

Rolling Thunder 122015

It was an emotional sight to behold and a Memorial Day I will long remember. And in the end, my little Fuji did a remarkable job capturing it all.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Memorial Day 2015

So many tributes to so many. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day 2015

A makeshift memorial near the Vietnam Memorial. Funded by a handful of veterans from Massachusetts, three 10-by-19-foot banners are printed with 7,038 names of those who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

24 thoughts on “Memorial Day, Washington, DC

  1. Before i forget: I love that you had all the “big boys” checking out your Fuji 🙂
    You sure captured the spirit of Rolling Thunder.
    I’ve only ridden from Radford / Dublin to Bedford (where the DDay Memorial is).
    It must have been LOUD!

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    • I kinda felt like David amid all the Goliaths, Laurie 🙂 As for the decibel level, here was a fun fact I learned from those sporting the big guys – most came armed with a set of earplugs 🙂 Apparently a staple of their kits, just because one never knows when they might come in handy! As for me, I wear hearing aids, so all I had to do was pop them out 🙂 It’s not often that I’m happy to be hearing impaired 😉

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  2. Wow, I’ve never seen such Rolling Thunder pic’s. And the Vietnam Memorial always chokes me up. Those pic’s are amazing and the cool thing was being able to talk to other photographers. Are they using film or have they gone digital?

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    • Thanks, Cybele. The memorial at night, filled with so many people and so many remembrances, was a scene so poignant that I just stood for a while, rooted in one spot, trying to absorb the emotions of it all.

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  3. These are all fantastic images Stacy and the last one really got to me it’s just beautiful. I’m curious are these JPEG files because that’s all I feel the need to use on my X100T ?

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