It hurts and saddens me to no end that I must announce that the Washington DC Reunion is officially dead. These are the series of events that led us to this decision.
- When the Virginia Governor announced in June he was opening the state, including museums, we began checking with our insiders in DC and the surrounding area. The general outlook then was things would begin opening around July 4, with greater openings around August 1. Looked good then.
- In early July, COVID was beginning a second surge. Many openings were put on hold, especially the museums. As early July has moved into later July, the museums became more adamant to not open. Their communication with us became cryptic at best.
- Perhaps the death knell came last week when we were told we could not attend the Evening Parade at 8th and I, even though they had started back a few weeks ago. When they found out we are from all over the country, they said no to us, something to do with the Department of Defense COVID regulations.
- So with the COVID surge and not knowing when our scheduled tours were going to open back up, we had to make a decision. We offered a shorter version of the Reunion to those who were still registered for the Reunion. Of all the answers we got, there were not enough wanting to come to warrant having the shorter Reunion. We did not even have enough to go on the two outings we offered, nor did we have enough for an official member business meeting. So, no Reunion.
The Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel has agreed not to call the penalty clause for breaking the reunion contract. We agreed to go there in 2024 and they agreed to waive the penalty clause. We are already contractually obligated through 2023. They have been very nice to work with under these extreme conditions.
Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. will be processing your Reunion refunds within the next two weeks.
Although no one can guarantee conditions will be better next year, I can still hope we can have a full blown reunion in the Chicago area, Aug 17-22, 2021 at the Doubletree Naperville (outside Chicago). I look forward to seeing all of you then.
Again, I am so sorry. We worked very hard to make this reunion happen against unprecedented odds.
Stay safe and healthy.
Robert North, President
3rd Marine Division Association, Inc.