Biden Rejects Permit for Annual POW-MIA Motorcycle Ride Ending 30 Year Tradition

Joe Biden’s administration rejected a permit for the annual Rolling to Remember motorcycle ride held in Washington, DC, each Memorial Day. The event is organized by AMVETS, a veterans group, to honor POW/MIA veterans. 

“There are no options with as much space and convenient routes to the memorials, meaning it will be more difficult, disruptive, and expensive than if the Pentagon parking lots were available,” said Joe Chenelly, the national executive director of AMVETS.

“The administration included AMVETS in this new group as ‘a trusted voice in communities across the United States,’ but the Pentagon wouldn’t have a conversation with us to share their concerns and give us the chance to address them before deciding to refuse our application,” Chenelly added.

GOP Rep Darrell Issa issued a statement that said: Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) and Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) denounced the Pentagon’s permit denial for the annual Rolling to Remember motorcycle ride held in Washington, DC each Memorial Day in tribute of POW/MIA veterans.

Congressman Issa said: “The Biden Administration is making a terrible mistake by blocking a veteran’s charity from the use of the Pentagon parking lot for the Rolling to Remember POW/MIA remembrance motorcycle ride. This last-minute rejection, a first of its kind in more than 30 years, leaves patriotic veterans without a safe alternative.”

“Leading up to the decision, the Pentagon refused to talk with event organizers. They refused to respond to Congress about this topic. And now they are claiming COVID as an excuse.”

“Just days ago, President Biden hosted a drive-in rally in Georgia. The Rolling to Remember event is no less safe. The only difference is the politics that are denying veterans the opportunity to honor their fallen comrades.”

“If patriotic veterans are not welcome at the Pentagon, are they truly welcome anywhere in the Biden Administration?”

Congressman Calvert said:

“I’m disappointed by the Pentagon’s denial of AMVET’s permit for the Rolling to Remember event. It’s also frustrating to hear that the Pentagon staff failed to even engage in meaningful discussions to see how this outdoor event could take place in a safe manner. At a time when President Biden can find a way to hold outdoor political events, it’s shocking his administration can’t find a way to help our veterans do the same.”

Background

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 Rolling to Remember remembrance motorcycle ride traditionally uses the Pentagon parking lot 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.

Congressman Issa and Calvert wrote to DOD about this request in April.