BATAVIA — The annual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C. has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced.

The decision was made to protect the veterans, Hawley, R-Batavia, said in a news release.

“With all that is known about COVID-19, it was decided that 52 men and women on a bus traveling across various state lines where health regulations could vary radically, and would not be in the best interest of veterans,” the release reads.

“The Patriot Trip is the highlight of every year,” Hawley said. “This trip was inspired by Mike Paduchak, a World War II veteran, who asked me to come together with local veterans and host a trip to Washington D.C. Through the experiences of my father, veterans I have met during previous year’s trips, and my own service in the military, I have gained a tremendous understanding and admiration for the sacrifices endured by our veterans. I haven’t missed a trip for 12 years, and I wouldn’t miss it this year were it not for the risks. I am willing to postpone this year’s trip to ensure all of my friends I’ve made through the trip will be healthy to travel next year. And as for next year, I hope to see as many veterans as possible turn out for the tentative trip date of September 16-19, 2021.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1