Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General


202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
FAX 804-786-1991
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Attorney General Miyares Issues Statement on Victory for Petersburg Catholic Group's Memorial Day Mass

RICHMOND, Va. – Attorney General Jason Miyares issued the following statement in response to the Knights of Columbus Petersburg Council 694 being granted a permit for their Memorial Day Mass service:

“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.”

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, and Attorney General Miyares filed an amicus brief in support of the Knights of Columbus in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. After the amicus brief was filed, the lawsuit was dismissed following an agreement to allow the service was reached.