Anti-Trump Protesters Spat on Gold Star Families

'I am angry and I am scared,' wrote one woman whose brother made the ultimate sacrifice

In a despicable act of cowardice, anti-Trump protesters allegedly assaulted two Gold Star Family members as they entered the American Legion Salute to Heroes inaugural gala last Friday.

Ryan Manion of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wrote an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday about the incident, explaining how she and another Gold Star Family member, Amy Hastings Looney, were accosted by angry, threatening protesters who spat on them as they tried to pass.

“We were called the most vile names I have ever heard as we entered and exited the venue.”

“We could not get around an angry mob in the street that was burning trash cans and smashing windows,” Manion wrote on Facebook. “When we finally got to the venue, a group of about 75 people separated us from the entrance. Amy and I stood there unsure of what to do.”

Manion is also president of The Travis Manion Foundation, which serves veterans, active military, and families of the fallen.

The incident was also discussed on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper. Contributor Mary Katherine Ham is a friend of one of the women, noted The Washington Times.

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“We were pushed by a man in a mask hiding his face. Our clothes were drawn on with permanent marker by other ‘protesters,'” Manion wrote. “And we were called the most vile 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.”

The Gold Star Family member added that Americans need to find a way to “channel our collective differences” into something positive.

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“I have friends who I love dearly on both sides of the political aisle,” she wrote. “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.”

Ham said on “The Lead” Saturday that while the incident should not reflect badly on all anti-Trump protesters — the story should be getting serious media attention.

“It is hard to fathom that there are people who can behave so reprehensibly.”

“If it were a conservative movement, we would hear a lot about it,” she said, as The Federalist reported. “If you don’t think that the Left has some prejudices of its own that can lead it very astray like it did last night in that instance, then you’re wrong. And if you think that that’s not part of the reason many turned to Trump, then you’re also wrong.”

“I am angry and I am scared,” said Manion on Facebook. “My brother and Amy’s husband gave their lives to protect the freedoms that we hold so dear. The display that took place yesterday from people that truly have no comprehension of that jeopardize what makes this country so great. They hide behind the veil of posing as a ‘protester,’ but they are nothing more than thugs. I woke up this morning so upset that this is what it has come to.”

Related: First-Class Cabin Boos a Gold Star Family

Manion’s account of the event on her Facebook page has been shared over 2,000 times as of this writing since it was posted Jan. 21.

“It is hard to fathom that there are people who can behave so reprehensibly — especially in masses,” posted one commenter of the situation. “And toward women and children who want nothing more than to honor their loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice, which allows the very demonstrations they join. Why not try putting all that angry energy into fixing something instead? Your words and actions have done nothing to improve this country. Just angry cowards.”

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