Biden’s Pentagon refuses “Rolling to Remember” veteran’s motorcycle ride permit for Memorial Day

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The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

WASHINGTON, DC- In breaking with a 32-year tradition, Joe Biden’s Defense Department is blocking an annual motorcycle event from using the Pentagon’s parking area for a Memorial Day weekend event, as reported in numerous media outlets.

This is an outrage, however not surprising given the Biden administration’s apparent loathing of the military, who are held in just a little bit higher regard than police. This is how this administration and Democrats treat our heroes. 

The annual event, known as “Rolling Thunder” has used the Pentagon as a rallying point for the AMVETS to stage for the motorcycle rally.

According to ABC7-News in Washington, DC., the AMVETS are now trying to find an alternative site for staging of the rally, and are looking at RFK Stadium for that purpose.

Biden's Pentagon refuses "Rolling to Remember" veteran's motorcycle ride permit for Memorial Day
Rolling Thunder, Washington, DC-YouTube screenshot

According to AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly, he received a call from the Pentagon Friday afternoon and said they had denied the permit to stage the event.

“A gentleman at the Pentagon told me that after careful consideration, our permit application was denied. He said considerations involved the continued spread of COVID-19 in the region and the nature of our event being that we are proposing a large gathering for an extended period of time.”

Excuse us, but that is a load of bullshit. Clearly if COVID-19 is such a concern, officials in the Biden administration would be speaking out about continuing BLM (Buy Large Mansions) and Antifa protests and riots being held across the U.S. whenever a criminal is shot by a cop, but of course they are not.

In a statement released Friday, the Pentagon said:

“Unfortunately the department has disapproved the AMVETS permit request.

The department took into careful consideration all aspects of AMVETS request, to include the current Health Protection Condition status on the Pentagon Reservation; substantial community transmission of COVID-19 in Arlington County, Virginia; number of Americans fully vaccinated across the nation; nature of this event with its decreased ability to maintain physical distance; and large crowds in one location for an extended period of time.

This event draws national attention and participation; therefore the risk of exposure from participants from other communities extends well beyond the National Capital Region.”

In an article in Stars and Stripes on April 21, Chenelly said that at that time with less than 40 days until the event, the group had yet to hear from the Pentagon.

“The Pentagon won’t even talk to us,” Chenelly said. “We’ve been trying to really be good partners in all of this and not blast the Pentagon, but we’ve gotten to the point recently where we have to put pressure on them.”

This folks is what the Biden administration thinks of our veterans, and is about as surprising as Biden forgetting where he is and why he’s there.

The application for the event was submitted last July and it took until April 30 of this year to get a response. Chenelly said he had received an approved permit earlier this month, however it was subsequently revoked eight days later, saying they hadn’t made a final decision.

On Friday, Fox News reported that Rep. Brian Mast blasted the Biden administration for blocking the Rolling Thunder event, also known as Rolling to Remember.

“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,” Mast said in a statement.

“But the Biden administration seems intent on restricting that freedom, and now, even restricting Memorial Day ceremonies. Preventing a tradition like Rolling to Remember flies in the face of the freedoms that so many have died to protect.”

Mast sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging him to “promptly approve” the permit being sought by the AMVETS.

In a statement, Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough told Fox News the Pentagon had received the letter from Mast.

“I can confirm that we received the letter from Rep. Brian Mast. As with other congressional correspondence, we will respond directly to the member of Congress,” it read.

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Last year, the rally was canceled due to coronavirus, however with the pandemic on a steep decline, there wouldn’t appear to be a legitimate reason for denying the event this year.

This is especially true since the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats have embraced the nationwide protests, most of which violate so-called “social distancing” and “masking” guidelines.

“The Pentagon Parking lot has been used as a staging ground for Memorial Day events for decades. AMVETS relies on this staging ground as it is the largest public parking area in close proximity to Washington, D.C. and has proved an ideal staging ground for more than 30 years,” the congressman wrote in the letter.

“The event is now only a month away, and further delays could jeopardize this important Memorial Day event.”

Mast, a 12-year Army veteran has a vested interest in promoting this event, having worked as a bomb disposal expert who lost both legs while deployed in Afghanistan.

The AMVETS is a Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization which was started shortly after the end of World War II. It represents the interests of over 20 million veterans.

ABC-7 News said they have asked the Pentagon for an on-camera interview; however they have declined.

Ironically, despite the government claiming COVID-19 as an excuse to deny the Rolling Thunder event, the Smithsonian Institution announced last week that it will reopen eight of its facilities to the public starting this coming week. The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA., will open this week.

Additional museums, as well as the National Zoo will open on May 14 and May 21, with the United States Holocaust Museum announcing it would reopen on Monday, May 17, with some COVID-19 protocols being left in place, including capacity limitations.

Chenelly was asked if the event would be canceled or not if the Pentagon continues to attempt to block the event, he gave an unequivocal yes that the event would still be held.

“You are absolutely right. We are seeing it on websites and social media all over the place. Much smaller groups. They’re planning their own smaller rallying points and they’re coming in.”

The issue with separate staging areas however is it has the potential to create a traffic nightmare, ABC-7 News reported, with multiple staging areas around the city all converging on the National Mall.

“It’s very disappointing for us and for our members, Chenelly said. There’s been shock and deep disappointment expressed to us.”

He did note that both the Metro DC Police Department as well as the city’s Mayor’s Office is working with the group to help make the event a success.

So there you have it veterans. You’re currently held by the Biden administration almost as low as police officers. Maybe if the vets fly BLM flags the administration will change their tune. That wouldn’t happen, however. They’re patriots.  

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