Trump Welcomes Bikers To The White House To Remember MIA Veterans, Suicide Victims

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump marked Memorial Day with bikers at a Rolling to Remember event at the White House on Friday, commemorating American POWs, MIA soldiers and veteran victims of suicide.

The event came in place of the annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder motorcycle event in Washington, D.C. which typically brings hundreds of thousands of bikers to the nation’s capital. The event was cancelled this year due to coronavirus. The event also recognized the 22 veterans who die of suicide each day, the first time for the event to do so according to a senior administration official.

“When you’re ready to come back with your 600,000 we’ll be ready to take you,” Trump said. “You liked me from the beginning and I liked you from the beginning.” (RELATED: INTERACTIVE: This Map Shows How Many Have Died From COVID-19 In Each State)

Bikers ride by Marine Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers, “the saluting Marine”, as they take part in the “Rolling thunder” parade, part of the Memorial weekend honouring war veterans in Washington, on May 26 2019. (Photo by Eric BARADAT/AFP)

American Veterans (AMVETS), the organization behind Rolling Thunder, instead announced the Rolling to Remember Challenge for bikers to participate in nationally. The challenge calls for bikers to ride 22 miles in a day to commemorate victims of suicide.

The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with the White House to launch the Veteran Suicide-Prevention Task Force in June 2019. The organization works with private-sector organizations and non-profits to give resources to veterans and raise awareness about suicide.

Trump ended the event by reminding the bikers to get out to vote on November 3. (RELATED: Maryland Reestablishes Mail-In Only Special Election, Resolving Inner-Conflict)

“Get those engines started,” Trump said at the end of his speech. “I want you to drive as fast as you can, but don’t get hurt.”