Local airman says protest encounter was “ironic”
SPOKANE, Wash. — Two airmen were blocked by protesters as they tried to enter the inauguration in Friday.
A Washington Examiner reporter caught the encounter on camera and quickly posted it online.
The video has been shared more than 2 million times.
The two airmen, Major Dan Holland and his soon to be son-in-law Staff Sgt. David Stefaniak were trying to enter the event when they were stopped by a group of demonstrators.
Major Holland says at first it didn’t seem like a big deal, but the more he thought about it, the more ironic the encounter seemed.
“This checkpoint is closed! This checkpoint is closed,” Chanted protesters as Holland and Stefaniak tried to enter the inauguration.
The two airmen received tickets to attend the event from representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
“What you see in the video is me sort of looking over the top of them, ‘where’s the clear path for me to move to,'” said Holland.
The retired airman says they tried to avoid protesters, but these ones were blocking a security checkpoint.
On the video, you see the airmen are not allowed to pass.
The encounter shared millions of times online and seen by Stefaniak’s fiance Nicole Holland.
“I was horrified watching this video. Both my father and David are decorated war veterans. To see these people, just in their faces yelling, having no concept of the things that these men have gone through to give you the right to be shouting in their face,” said Nicole Holland.
At the time, Major Holland didn’t think much of the encounter, “It really, to me, was a non-event,” he said.
But looking back, he finds it was simply ironic.
“You’re preventing us, who are protecting your very right to assemble peacefully, from access to a very public event. It just seemed odd,” said Holland.
Major Holland says one of the protesters did give them directions to another checkpoint and they were able to get in to see Donald Trump become President.
With millions of views on the video many commented saying it’s fine to disagree with President Trump, but we should always show respect for men and women in Uniform.
Major Holland also mentioned that the engagement of his daughter and Stefaniak was fairly new and they hadn’t told many people quite yet… he says this was an interesting way to get the word out.
COPYRIGHT 2021 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.