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Knights of Columbus granted permission to hold Memorial Day Mass, lawsuit dropped

commonwealth veterans day event

The National Park Service relented and will allow the Petersburg Knights of Columbus to hold its annual Memorial Day Mass on May 27 to honor America’s veterans.

Permission came two days after the Catholic group, the Knights of Columbus Petersburg Council 694, filed a lawsuit against the federal group.

“I’m pleased that the Petersburg Knights of Columbus was granted access to observe Memorial Day and gather to pray and mourn the loss of fallen military personnel. The First Amendment very clearly allows religious and non-religious groups to hold these types of gatherings on government grounds. It’s shameful and un-American that they were denied in the first place,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, who filed an amicus brief in support of the Knights, said.

Last year, the Poplar Grove National Cemetery denied the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, a permit to honor veterans on Memorial Day, citing a Biden administration National Park Service policy memorandum that interprets long-standing regulations to now prohibit religious services on any Park Service cemetery grounds.

The First Liberty Institute and the law firm McGuireWoods LLP filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service, which was dropped this afternoon.

Petersburg: National Park Service denies Knights of Columbus request to hold Memorial Day Mass – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.