Thousands of motorcycle riders roar through N.J. for war victims


Thousands of motorcycles roared through 24 miles of roadway Sunday morning to honor more than 2,300 New Jersey residents who are still unaccounted for from World War II to the Vietnam War.

The 24th annual Ride for Freedom event was organized by the Rolling Thunder motorcycle club, which is comprised of mainly war veterans.

“We have a responsibility to our servicemen and women to live up to a promise — a promise to leave no one behind,” said Charles Webster, president of Rolling Thunder New Jersey Chapter 2. “But that is exactly what our government has done over the past 78 years. We have not accounted for the lives of tens of thousands of men and women who went off to fight our wars never to be heard from again. That’s tens of thousands of families with no answers, who continue to seek answers and sit and wait for our government to find those answers.”

The ride started at Warinanco Park in Roselle and then weaved through the streets of Roselle, Rahway, Linden, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, South Amboy and Old Bridge. The procession then took the Garden State Parkway southbound to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

“The 24th annual Ride for Freedom is focused on highlighting those service members who continue to be unaccounted for and sends a strong message to the families of the missing that we will never forget,” Webster said.

Motorcyclists take off during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle.

Participants walk together after staging their motorcycles during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom event on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle.

A motorcyclists takes off during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle.

Jessica Mitchell, left, of Manahawkin, and her husband Raymond Mitchell, right, of Manahawkin, who ride with the Sinister Steel Motorcycle Association, attach an American flag to their bike during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. 

Motorcyclists take off during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. 


A motorcyclist arrives during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. 

Bob Shelley, left, of Sayreville, and his girlfriend Jill Shelley, right, of Sayreville, who ride with the Sinister Steel Motorcycle Association, attach an American flag to their bike during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. 

Robert DeBoer, of Spotswood, with American Legion Riders Post 253, stands near his motorcycle as it sports a 5 feet by 8 feet American flag during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. 

Tom Dalessio, left, of Dunellen, talks to 87-year-old Chuck McCann, right, of East Brunswick, during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. McCann rides with the National chapter of Rolling Thunder and is a Korean War veteran.

Motorcyclists take off during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle.

Motorcyclists take off during the 24th annual Ride for Freedom on Sept. 15, 2019, at Warinanco Park in Roselle. 

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Source: NJ.com