President Donald Trump on Friday greeted bikers gathered for the “Rolling to Remember” tribute to America’s veterans.
The president spoke to the small group of bikers from the portico of the White House on the South Lawn. Actor Robert Patrick, from the film Terminator 2 also attended.
The gathering this year, organized by AMVETS, will be held primarily held virtually, due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers of the event traveled to meet President Trump at the White House, continuing a long-standing tradition of bikers riding through the nation’s capital to highlight veterans and soldiers missing overseas.
“I appreciate that you’re here, we’re here for you and I told you when you’re ready to come back with your 600,000, we’re ready to take you,” Trump said.
Participants are encouraged to ride 22 miles in their communities to call attention to the average of 20-22 veteran suicides every day.
Organizers for Rolling Thunder ended their Memorial Day Tradition in 2019, leading AMVETS to pick up the tradition with the name “Rolling to Remember.”
Trump paid tribute to Artie Muller, the original organizer of Rolling Thunder and AMVETS for continuing the tradition.
“Thank you for keeping this noble tradition alive,” Trump said. “And for preserving the memory of those who are missing but never forgotten.”
He also thanked them for supporting his campaign and his presidency.
“I just want to say, you’ve been tremendous supporters of mine, the bikers, I call them the bikers, they’re bikers for whatever reason you’ve liked me from the beginning and I liked you from the beginning,” he said.
“Get those engines started I want to see you drive around and drive as fast as you can but don’t get hurt,” Trump said, pumping his fist as the song “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns and Roses began playing.
The bikers revved their engines and drove around the White House driveway as the president saluted.