A lawmaker in Florida is criticizing the Biden administration for putting an end to a 30-year tradition by refusing to issue a permit that would allow a massive Memorial Day motorcycle parade down Consitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.
The event draws upwards of ten thousand motorcyclists from all across the country every year. It normally stated in the parking lot of the Pentagon, but the Biden administration has rescinded its annual permit effectively ending the Memorial Day tradition.
“Memorial Day traditions like Rolling to Remember have been granted permits by every administration, Democrat and Republican, for the past 30 years,” stated Rep. Brian Mast of Florida. “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,” he stated to Fox News.
“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. But sadly right now, in Joe Biden’s America, 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,” Mast continued.
The Pentagon has issued a statement blaming COVID-19 for the decision to rescind the permit.
A section of the Pentagon overseeing special events had already approved AMVETS’ permit for the Rolling to Remember parade on March 11th but suddenly revoked it. This past month, Mast, who is a 12-year Army vet who specialized as a bomb disposal expert and lost both of his legs on deployment in Afghanistan, wrote a stern letter to Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, pushing him to “promptly approve” the permit in April.
In this letter, Mast stated that the Pentagon had already approved the permit “only to revoke that approval a week later, citing a ‘routing error’ and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event is being put at risk by the refusal of the Pentagon to approve the permit in a timely manner.”
Mast went on to say that Americans enjoy freedom because of the sacrifices taken by the U.S. military, “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.”
This past Monday, Joe Chennelly, AMVETS’ national executive director, stated an expression of disappointment with the decision on “Fox & Friends First.”
“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,” Chennelly stated.
“What, traditionally, this event has been all about is our missing in action. We have more than 80,000 Americans who are still missing in action since World War II,” Chennelly continued. “We are committed to still having a central staging area. … We have a Plan B and a Plan C.”