WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin demanding answers as to why the Pentagon was jeopardizing a Memorial Day tradition that has honored our nation’s veterans for the past three decades.
In March, the Pentagon's Special Event Team initially sent AMVETS approval to use the Pentagon parking lot for their annual Rolling To Remember Memorial Day event 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.
“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,” Rep. Mast said. “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.”
- AMVETS is a Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization, representing the interests of 20 million veterans.
- The Pentagon parking lot has been used for the last three decades to host Memorial Day events like Rolling To Remember.
- The Rolling To Remember event raises awareness to the 82,000 service members who are still missing in actions and that 22 veterans die by suicide each day.
- The Pentagon's Special Event Team initially sent AMVETS approval for their annual request to use the Pentagon parking lot as a staging area for Rolling To Remember on March 11, 2021.
- On March 18, 2021, the Pentagon revoked this request citing a “routing error.”
- There is no decision yet on the permit, and it is still being evaluated, according to the Pentagon.
A copy of the letter that Rep. Mast can be found below: