The Association of the United States Navy this week spearheaded a letter to President Joseph Biden that criticized the way his Defense Department handled a request to use the Pentagon parking lot as a staging area for this year's "Rolling to Remember" ride on May 30.
For more than 30 years, the Pentagon lot has been used as a staging area by veterans who ride motorcycles into Washington to mark Memorial Day. The event has taken on special significance in the last few years, as it helps draw attention to those still missing in action and the ongoing problem of veteran suicide.
This year, however, the Defense Department ignored the request for a permit until March, when it said the permit was approved. About a week later, however, DOD said the permit was not approved, and then on April 30, organizers were told the permit was rejected.
This needless back and forth hamstrung organizers and did a disservice to veterans who risked all for this nation.
"[W]e are struggling to understand why your administration rejected a permit from veterans’ groups that are trying to maintain a tradition that has spanned more than three decades," the letter said.
"Mr. President, we know your support for veterans is genuine, but we wanted you to know that veterans are very unhappy with this decision, and the actions of your administration will unfortunately lead some to question your support."
Read a copy of the letter below: