Keeping and Making Memories on Memorial Day

Vienna is located 15 miles outside America’s capital city. Memorial Day weekend is a reminder of how Vienna can have its own traditions while rubbing up against the larger-than-life political statements about our nation that converge 15 miles away. I see an opportunity to teach my daughter about what it means to be part of a local community and part of America.

One of the highlights of the civic year is “Viva! Vienna!, the town’s small-town-feel fair. Stretching along historic Church Street and the W & OD trail, it boasts food, crafts, rides, local businesses, music and political candidates. It’s such a staple that there is a mural with “Viva Vienna” painted on the side of the building near the Caboose on the W & OD trail.

This year, friend and fellow parent Greg and I rode a hang glider type of ride into the sunshine. Parents can have fun, too, right? Next year I figure I’ll be shelling out the $5 per carnival ride for little Bean.

There were lots of vendors. I wanted to buy unique necklaces from several of them. We also chatted with our neighbor Adam Cook, who was promoting his home improvement business.

The rest of the weekend was spent at home, listening to the roars of motorcycles going by on nearby Nutley Street, which is the main avenue to Route 66 into DC.

It was Rolling Thunder– a group of people young and old, veterans and non-veterans who each year descends on Washington to show the government and the world that prisoners of war, those missing in action and military veterans will not be forgotten. All while riding kick-ass motorcycles.

Drew, Bean and I were on Virginia Lane’s overpass of 66 by 8am. By 8:45 we watched police escort the seemingly thousands of motorcycles making their way to the Memorial Bridge for the annual procession. We waved our American flag. I ran down to the actual highway to get close up pictures.

The sight and sounds of the bikes chokes me up. It is humbling to think of the veterans who served our country. It is awe-inspiring to think of some 400,000 people organized around one idea.

The Bean may have been a bit young to soak in the weekend’s meaning. She’ll learn more one day.


8 thoughts on “Keeping and Making Memories on Memorial Day

  1. I loved seeing the bike's come in on I66. I think taking E to see this will be fun every year. I wonder if there is a better location to watch them come in. Maybe next year we can try the Vienna Metro bridge or the W&OD bridge over I495.


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  6. A year later, Drew, the Bug and I went to the overpass on Virginia Lane over 66 to see Rolling Thunder at 8:45am sharp on Memorial Day. We missed it!! I don’t know if the bikes went early or later this year, but we did not see the Thunder. Major bummer. Next year I suppose!


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