Vets shine a light on POWs and other soldiers still missing with Rolling Thunder rally

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Schacter: I'm Aaron Shacter and this is the world. We're going to start off today with the sounds of Memorial day. Okay, it's not a cookout but this is a regular memorial day observance for this group of veterans. Every year for the past twenty seven years, thousands of them have descended on Washington on the Sunday before memorial day for the rolling thunder motorcycle rally. Artie Muller is a Vietnam vet and he rides his 1992 Harley Davidson low rider from New Jersey to D.C. for the rally. Today is a quieter observance at the Vietnam Memorial. Artie Muller: Well, first we come down to the wall, we pay respect to a lot of our brothers that we have lost. A lot of us made it back and a lot those serving with us didn't and I have a lot of brothers on the wall and I like to come to the wall, say a few prayers, and pay respect to those that didn't make it back here. Schacter: How many Veterans are with you this weekend participating in the Rolling Thunder Rally. Muller: Well, I'm not sure about Veterans but I'd say we had close to a million Veterans and our supporters here if not more. I mean there was hundreds of thousands of people from, on the other side of the memorial bridge outside of Washington or across [??] Avenue. Down into [??] Avenue. Everybody was around the wall. It brings tears to your eyes when you ride in this. Schacter: And I know you say you lost a lot of brothers in Vietnam. Is there a particular name you go to see each year when you go to the Vietnam Memorial. Muller: I go to see a guy who was from Tennessee. I go to see our captain who is also on the wall. And in between them there are a lot of our guys who were killed in the other companies attached to us. Schacter: So, It's a pretty important day for you. Muller: Yeah, it is, I'm lucky. I made it home alive. We all have problems but we did what he had to do. We served our country. Our government asked us to fight a war. We fought it and most of us would probably go back if we were younger and do it again if we had to. Schacter: You're at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington D.C. but there are motorcycle rallies for wounded veterans all across the country and what's the idea behind this show of force on motorcycles, The Rolling Thunder Rally. Muller: First of all, it's a demonstration, we did motorcycle rally in the beginning and we also did a march and after three years we decided to drop the march and just do the motorcycle rally because it drew more attention. You get thousands or hundreds of thousands of motorcycles in one area and everybody says why are they there. That's the message we get out to them. We're here because almost ninety thousand Americans that have never been accounted for from World War 1 to Korea, Vietnam. We did bring everybody home from the Iraq war. Right now we have Sargent Bowie Burdock. He is in Afghanistan, he has been captured for five years. We're here because our government forgot after all past wars that they left live Americans behind and did nothing about it. Schacter: Is it frustrating for you at all that this day, Memorial day is you know not really thought of much. Muller: Most Americans think Memorial Day is well, we can go to the store and get something on sale or we could have a barbecue in the yard or go down to the shore and go swimmin. But it would be nice if all the Americans in this country would think about just for a little bit each Memorial day why we have Memorial day. That somebody sacrificed their lives through all past wars. This is not just Vietnam. We're fighting for all of it. I mean in all the years that we've been doing this twenty seven years, the United States government recovered and buried in our country. The United States of America, eleven hundred and fifty one remains identify them and bury them honorably. Schacter: Artie Muller, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Muller: God Bless the United States. Schacter: Artie Muller there speaking with me from the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C.