A woman who lost her Marine brother in Iraq in 2007 and another who lost her Navy SEAL husband in Afghanistan in 2010 say they were spit on by anti-Trump protesters as they attended a veterans event on Inauguration Day in Washington D.C.
Ryan Manion, who lost her brother, Marine First Lt. Travis Manion, and Amy Hastings Looney, who lost her husband, Navy SEAL Lt. Brendan Looney, were attempting to enter the American Legion Salute to Heroes Inaugural Gala on Friday. Manion wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “We were pushed by a man in a mask. Our clothes were drawn on with permanent marker by other protesters. And we were called the vilest names I have ever heard as we entered and exited the venue. What the individuals who assaulted us did not know is that I am the sister of Marine First Lt. Travis Manion, and Amy is the wife of Navy SEAL Lt. Brendan Looney, who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Travis was killed in 2007, and Brendan in 2010.”
Manion asked, “Are you truly accomplishing anything by inciting hate?” She noted her mother started the Travis Manion Foundation, which she and Looney lead.
I envision an America that values character above all else. Where integrity is more important than celebrity. Where acts of service and kindness permeate the nightly news. Where communities unite together to raise each other up . . . I believe this ugly incident involving Amy and me is one of those teachable moments that our entire country can learn from. The character of this country is, at the end of the day, defined by our differences. I have friends who I love dearly on both sides of the political aisle. Let's celebrate the differences that not only define us, but define what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world.
"I believe this ugly incident involving Amy and me is one of those teachable moments that our entire country can learn from."
Speaking on Fox and Friends, Manion asserted:
My message to the protesters is, and again, I hate to use the word protesters, because there was a very big difference between what took place on Friday night and what Amy and I experienced and what we saw on Sunday. But my message is how can we use our differences to unite our country. We live in the greatest country in the world; we have the incredible assets of our nation’s veterans who we can use as examples. Examples for how you demonstrate leadership and courage, all the things that Amy talked about. And at the end of the day let’s bring it back to character. Let’s bring it back to making sure that each and every one of us use the words that my brother said: “If not me then who? And live lives of character.