Smoky Mountain Thunder Memorial Ride honors fallen military members

THORN HILL – A little more than 4,000 motorcycles converged on Clinch Mountain as part of the 21st annual Smoky Mountain Thunder Memorial Ride Sunday, May 30.

The ride is held each year to honor those who died in service to their country. 

Riders gathered in Sevierville Sunday morning for an opening ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. They departed Sevierville at 11 a.m. and Grainger County Sheriff James Harville led the group to the Veterans Overlook on Clinch Mountain. Bean Station and Blaine Volunteer Fire Departments displayed a large American flag over the entrance into the overlook. 

Ride organizer Ron Giddis addressed the gathered crowd, T.C. Barnette sang a special song and an honor guard provided a 21-gun salute followed by the playing of taps. A wreath was also placed at the Veterans Memorial.

Following the closing ceremony, Giddis was presented with a quilt made of t-shirts from each of the 21 Smoky Mountain Thunder Memorial rides.