ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) — The annual "Rolling to Remember" is returning to Arlington this weekend where thousands of motorcycles ride through the nation's capital.
This is the first year it will be back at the Pentagon parking lot since 2019.
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Previously riders gathered at the RFK stadium.
The ride will take place Sunday, May 28, around noon.
According to the Rolling to Remember organization, its goal is to bring awareness to U.S. veterans. The group wants to demand action for the 82,000 service members missing and raise awareness for the 22 veterans who die by suicide each day.
Sunday, May 29
For the first time since 2019, the annual Sunday ride will begin at the Pentagon, where bikers gathered for more than 30 years when the event was known as Rolling Thunder.
After going mostly virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, in 2021 the Pentagon rejected an application for a permit by Rolling to Remember, citing COVID as part of the reason. The decision left many of the participants in the event upset.
D.C.’s mayor stepped in to allow Rolling to Remember to meet at RFK in 2021, where the bikers also met last year. But this year they tried to apply for a permit at the Pentagon again, and they were just granted it this week, according to the director of Rolling to Remember.
“Their permit request was denied that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sue Gough, Department of Defense spokesperson, wrote in a statement to WJLA. “2023 is the first year since that AMVETS has asked to stage Rolling to Remember at the Pentagon.”
“The symbolism of where the US military is based I think really means a lot to our riders,” said Joe Chenelly, director of AMVETS & Rolling to Remember. “And it is a protest, it’s a demonstration demanding that our federal government keeps its promises and that we leave no one behind, and that really starts and begins at the Pentagon.”