Staff Sgt. Ahmed Kousay Al-Taie was born in Iraq but lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was an Army interpreter and was kidnapped at gun point in October 2006 when he was off base en route to visit his wife in Baghdad. He has not been seen since and was listed as Missing until February 26, 2012 when his parents were informed of his death.
This year’s 25th anniversary “Ride for Freedom” will certainly be saddened by the loss of Al-Taie, yet many other Americans still remain held in captive. Sergeant Bowe R. Bergdahl in particular will be a focus of the ride. He was captured in 2009, at the age of 23 and has been held captive in Afghanistan ever since. There have been five videos released by the Taliban showing Sgt. Bergdahl in captivity and this year’s ride will strive to increase public awareness about his tragic situation.
While the “Ride for Freedom” was started in 1988 with only 2,500 riders, now nearly one million riders/spectators participate in this annual event. If you would like to participate, it is not too late to make your reservations by going to the National website at www.rollingthunder1.com for a list of participating hotels in the area. The annual ”Ride for Freedom” will take place in Washington, D.C. Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27, 2012. Participants are asked to assemble in the North Pentagon Parking Lot at 7:00 A.M. with the demonstration ride beginning at 12 noon. There will be a speakers program and a musical tribute near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial so riders/spectators can pay tribute to the fallen soldiers from all wars. All riders must wear a helmet.
If you are going to be in the Washington D.C. area on Memorial Day weekend, why not consider participating to support an incredibly good cause by riding and/or attending the speakers program. This is certainly one demonstration you won’t forget. Until they are all home—let us not forget!