May 5,2p021 By Laurie Montoya
Representatives Executive Director Joe Chennelly from AMVETS and Rep. Brian Mast, R-Florida a 12-year Army veteran and who was injured in Afghanistan (double amputee) today were on Fox News Faulkner Focus today discussing the Pentagon’s decision on rescinding a permit for a 30-plus year Memorial Day tradition that stages thousands of motorcyclists and veterans outside for the Rolling to Remember Rally.
Representative Mast blasted the Pentagon and current administration for rescinding this permit using the excuse of COVID-19 for this outdoor 30-plus years Memorial Day tradition for veterans that has always been staged in the Pentagon’s parking lot. He is quoted as saying “Memorial Day traditions like Rolling to Remember have been granted permits by every administration, Democrat and Republican, for the past 30 years. 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,”
Joe Chennelly Executive Director from AMVETS stated, “Our biggest disappointment with the Pentagon’s decision here was that they never gave us an opportunity, despite us asking many times, to be able to present a plan of how we would be able to meet at the Pentagon parking lot outdoors in a safe, responsible way,”
Rolling Thunder is traditionally an event that has been all about is our missing in action. Motorcycle riders from around the nation, and even around the world rally in the Pentagon parking lots and then begin riding a designated route thru the Mall area of Washington DC. We have more than 80,000 Americans who are still missing in action since World War II. Chennelly and his staff are committed to still having a central staging area. … We have a Plan B and that is staging near RFK Stadium and but at this late date it is unclear if they will be able to get those plans into action
AMVETS will know by the end of this week whether Plan B, staging near RFK Stadium, pans out, Chennelly said.
“If COVID-19 conditions permit, the department would gladly consider supporting a future event request from AMVETS, potentially as soon as this Labor Day weekend. The department looks forward to supporting future events with AMVETS,” the Pentagon’s statement continued.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Rolling to Remember to go virtual in 2020 and it is clear the organization’s determination to find another way to do this event in 2021. For updates, please visit their website – www.rollingtoremember.com