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Annual veterans motorcycle rally to D.C. on Memorial Day again in jeopardy as Pentagon denies permit

The veteran group's rally aims to raise awareness for veteran suicide.

Updated: May 3, 2021 - 12:08pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Defense Department has denied a parking permit for the annual military veterans' Memorial Day rally in Washington, D.C., citing COVID-19 concerns and presenting another challenge to keep the tradition going.

The permit was denied Friday to AMVets, a veterans service organization, for it Rolling to Remember Memorial Day, according to ABC affiliate WJLA-TV.

"The risk of exposure from participants from other communities extends well beyond the National Capital Region," the statement in part reads.

The motorcycle parade is an effort to bring aware to suicide among veterans.

The event started roughly 34 years ago and was originally known as Rolling Thunder and was organized to honor war veterans who were either taken prisoner or are still Missing in Action.

But logistical problems between Rolling Thunder organizers and the Pentagon police resulted in the event being disbaned disbanded after 2019. American Veterans, or AMVETS, took over last year.

The group said it will attempt to use RFK Stadium as its new staging area.

The Pentagon said it would revisit its decision if the COVID-19 situation eases. 

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