17th annual 'Never Forget' Thunder Run set for Sept. 15
It will be kick stands up at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, for the 17th annual "Never Forget" Thunder Run, a 42-mile, police-escorted ride from North Chicago to Woodstock.
The Thunder Run honors and raises awareness for the tens of thousands of American service members still missing and unaccounted for from all wars dating back to World War I, said Ted Makarewicz, ride coordinator and vice president of Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2.
"It's important for people to remember," Makarewicz said.
"Our purpose is threefold," added retired U.S. Army Col. Wayne Kirkpatrick of Algonquin. "First, we want to educate the public on the fact that America still has over 80,000 servicemen and women missing in action. Second, we are honoring our past and current veterans. Finally, and equally important, our parade provides our citizens with an opportunity to show their patriotism, their pride and their respect for our veterans by standing when our American flag passes by."
Motorcyclists will gather at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago Sept. 15, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. and a safety briefing at 10:30 a.m.
The ride will conclude at Woodstock Harley-Davidson, 2235 S. Eastwood Drive, where power blues/rock guitarist Tallan Latz will perform.
Cost is $20 per motorcyclist; $5 per passenger. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.
The Thunder Run is Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2's chief annual fundraiser, typically drawing about 200 people, Makarewicz said. Rolling Thunder, which has about 100 chapters nationwide and three in Illinois, conducts rides and other activities like Missing Men table ceremonies and POW/MIA chair of honor dedications so that those who are lost are not forgotten.
Kirkpatrick said the chapter has participated in the repatriation of seven local MIAs from World War II and Korea.
The Sept. 15 ride will lead with the American flag accompanied by the national anthem, the five service flags and 15 POW/MIA flags. It will take place rain or shine, and will pass through the communities of Great Lakes, Green Oaks, Volo, McHenry, Grayslake, Lakemoor, Island Lake, Round Lake, Wauconda, Libertyville, Mundelein and Bull Valley en route from North Chicago to Woodstock.
Other information about the ride is available at woodstockharley-dav.com.
Information about the club is available at rollingthunderil2.org.