The group American Veterans has staged an annual Memorial Day motorcycle rally through the nation’s capital for roughly the past three decades. Known as “Rolling to Remember,” the ride was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While participants looked forward to its revival this year, the Biden administration is reportedly standing in the way.
“Granted permits by every administration”
According to the Daily Wire, the Pentagon has refused to issue the group a permit allowing the rally to begin in its parking lot, citing a continuing concern about the public health crisis.
The news was met with widespread disappointment, including from U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).
In a statement to Fox News this week, he expressed his frustration, noting that the event has been “granted permits by every administration, Democrat and Republican,” for many years in the past.
“The Biden Administration’s decision to end this Memorial Day tradition flies in the face of the freedoms that so many have died to protect,” Mast added. “We are blessed beyond words to be citizens of the greatest country on Earth and only live free thanks to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The Florida Republican claimed that “it is easier to cross the border illegally than it is to get a permit to pay our respects to our nation’s fallen heroes” under the current president’s leadership.
“Flies in the face of the freedoms”
A permit was initially granted to the group earlier this year but was subsequently rescinded.
For that reason, Mast sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in which he argued that the Pentagon’s decision put the entire event in jeopardy.
He requested that the permit be reinstated “in a timely manner,” going on to argue that Americans owe their freedom to the sacrifices made by the military members and veterans honored by the motorcycle ride.
The Biden administration’s apparent efforts to restrict the event, Mast wrote, “flies in the face of the freedoms that so many have died to protect.”
For his part, however, the group’s executive director Joe Chennelly said that, despite the setback, his organization is “committed to still having a central staging area” and declared that organizers “have a Plan B and a Plan C.”