The Department of Defense refused to approve a permit that would allow the American Veterans' Memorial Day procession to congregate at the Pentagon, breaking a 32-year-old tradition on Memorial Day weekend for Rolling To Remember.
According to ABC7, AmVets Executive Director Joe Chenelly was contacted by the Pentagon, informing him that "after careful consideration, [their] permit application was denied."
Chenelly was told that the reasoning behind the decision 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."
As ABC7 reports, AmVets, which is a Congressionally-chartered organization representing 20 million veterans, had been waiting nearly a year for the Pentagon to give them an answer.
The event, Rolling to Remember, brings thousands of veterans to D.C. every Memorial Day. Chenelly said that AmVets is now trying to obtain permission from RFK Stadium to hold the event there.
Despite the setbacks, AmVets is optimistic, stating that the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Mayor's Office will help to ensure that the event is a success.
ABC7 asked Chenelly if he thought veterans would still come to Washington, given that the Pentagon will no longer play a part. "[Veterans] are planning their own smaller rallying points and they're coming in", he replied.
Having multiple rallying points all over the area instead of one main stage will likely create traffic problems, as the thousands of participants make their way to the National Mall.