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Issa to Introduce Legislation to Allow Veterans Memorial Day Event After Biden Denial

May 6, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) released a statement following the Pentagon’s rejection of a permit request for the Rolling to Remember Memorial Day motorcycle ride in recognition of POW/MIA veterans.

Congressman Issa said:

“I call on President Biden to reverse the Pentagon’s insulting decision to block patriotic Americans from organizing in remembrance of POW/MIAs in Washington, D.C. this Memorial Day.

“Just days ago, President Biden hosted an outdoor drive-in political rally. The Rolling to Remember outdoor ride-in event is no less deserving of approval, yet was denied by the Administration.  If this decision stands, their priorities are backwards.

“Now is the time to do the right thing. Memorial Day is weeks away. Approve the event permit and welcome patriotic veterans with pride.

“If the Administration does not act, I am authoring legislation to ensure that it does not shut out these veterans.”  

Background

Veterans participating in the “Rolling to Remember” event ride their motorcycles in solemn remembrance of the lost and missing brothers and sisters in service. There are 82,000 servicemembers still considered missing in action and every day 22 veterans die by suicide. The very meaning of Memorial Day is encapsulated in this annual ride, started over 30 years ago.

Traditionally, the Pentagon parking lot has been used as the pre-ride staging area, to safely line up for the solemn processional ride from the Department of Defense to the war memorials on the National Mall.

The event organizers, AMVETS, submitted permit requests and petitions for the event coordination to multiple federal agencies. AMVETS received approval from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Interior, and multiple other state and local authorities. The Pentagon is the only permit entity to not meet with AMVETS about the event.

The Pentagon approved the permit in March and then rescinded the decision without explanation. The Pentagon denied the permit on April 30, leaving event organizers scrambling for a safe alternative.

Congressman Issa and Calvert wrote to DOD about the permit request in April, read the letter here.

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