On Monday, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy apologized for his agency’s removal of roughly 700 people attending a child cancer vigil near the White House Saturday evening.
The attendees were removed from Lafayette Square because Barack Obama needed to deliver the keynote address at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual gala, and the kids were in the way.
The group had a permit for a performance from 7 to 9 p.m., but as the music began, the cancer-ridden children and their parents were removed from the park.
Mike Gillette, an advocate for CureFest for Childhood Cancer, said Clancy was “very open and honest, saying that they (Secret Service) made a mistake. We never thought there was any malice intended. We’re just a bunch of families who care about kids with cancer.” Gillette added that Clancy said he would speak to the cancer group at its next meeting and offered for the group to visit the Secret Service’s training facility in Maryland.
Despite Clancy’s apology, Gillette admitted that the sick children were “terribly disappointed … Families came from all over the country to honor kids lost to cancer. Many of them won’t be able to come back next month.”