I have had the privilege of being in Washington, DC on January 6th twice. Each time, it was an immense privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with Americans who were willing to sacrifice personal safety for the future of this country.

A massive crowd gathers in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

On January 6th, 2009, I was on military assignment in Washington, DC and had the opportunity to attend the Armed Forces Farewell Ceremony to the Commander in Chief. It was a moving ceremony marking the end of military service for our commander in chief, George W. Bush. The military saying farewell to their commander in chief has been a time-honored tradition in the U.S. Military going back to the days of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan famously bid farewell to the troops before leaving office in 1989. The ceremony provides an opportunity not just for the military to bid farewell to the president, but also for the president to bid farewell to those who serve our nation in uniform.

I would like to have attended the Armed Forces Farewell Ceremony for President Trump. Unfortunately, as 2020 was drawing to a close, the Pentagon chose not to announce a date for the event.

To deny the president an opportunity to bid farewell to the troops, and for the troops to bid farewell to their president for the first time in 40 years, was a political decision. Some would later try to frame that decision as a rejection of the president by the military, but the truth is that for every officer like Mark Milley, there are a thousand servicemembers who voted for the president or would still have enjoyed the opportunity to bid farewell to their commander in chief one last time.

Having served in the military under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, I felt much the same. My first visit to DC in January was to help organize the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. It was exactly thirteen years ago today that Barack Obama stopped by our office for an unannounced visit to greet the troops. I never voted for the man, but I was incredibly grateful that he broke with tradition and came by to shake hands with the hundreds of military servicemembers like myself who were putting in the long hours to help make his presidential inauguration a success.

On the right, Alaska State Rep. David Eastman joins some of his fellow Alaskans in front of a pro-Trump signs on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

As one of the planners, I had front-row seats to the multitude of tasks and seeming endless ceremonies that accompany the transition from one president to the next. Frequent meetings with the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, the FBI, and other agencies helped ensure that the inaugural events in and around the DC area went off without a hitch. For me, Inauguration Day started before 2 a.m. as I walked from my apartment to the Pentagon to help organize some of the 15,000 participants in the Inaugural Parade.

Having watched and been a part of the months-long preparation that goes into pulling off the parade, it was with sadness that I heard the news on January 3rd that Joe Biden had decided to cancel the inaugural parade. Separately, it was also announced that the public would not be invited to the presidential inauguration itself, which would instead be limited to elected officials, much like a State of the Union. Of course, each of these decisions followed a decision made early on by the Biden administration to pretend that irregularities in the 2020 election simply did not exist. No farewell ceremony. No inaugural parade. No public attendance at the inauguration ceremony itself. Pretend that irregularities in the 2020 election did not exist.

It was with this as a backdrop that I began making plans to fly down from Alaska to visit Washington, DC. I had never worn a MAGA cap or been to a Trump rally (his normal speaking circuit doesn’t usually include places like my home state of Alaska), but I knew that I would want to tell my kids and grandkids one day that I had been to DC to hear the president speak in person when the chips were down and he had asked Americans to come to Washington, DC and be counted.

Like millions of Americans who contemplated going, we knew it would be cold (Hint: It’s always cold in DC in early January). We knew that the political class currently running our country wanted nothing to do with us or with the president, and that they certainly didn’t want us showing up to hear him speak after they had publicly declared him persona non grata. We knew they didn’t want us taking an interest in the vote that would be taken in Congress on January 6th to certify the presidential election. The messaging was clear: “There will be no investigation into the 2020 election. There is nothing to object to, and any member of Congress who raises an objection to immediate certification will risk the same treatment that was meted out to other election officials who objected to immediate certification in their states.

Many more would have come from my state if timing, distance and weather had been more favorable.

It was a narrative that many of my constituents rejected on Election night the moment they saw ballot counting appear to stop in several key states; coincidentally, all with Democrat governors. As I have explained elsewhere (See “Trump Lost and Jeffrey Epstein Killed Himself“), normal truths may be challenged, but a political truth is something entirely different. It must never be challenged. Like a formal declaration about the safety and effectiveness of a new government-mandated vaccine; it must be assented to regardless of whether you or anyone you know actually knows whether it is safe, or effective. It may be safe and effective. It may not be. That’s not the point. Assent is.

I did not assent to a political narrative about the election that is utterly uncompelling. I never have. Many of the voters I represent never have. They deserved to have a representative in Washington, DC on January 6th when the votes for president were being counted. After arriving in DC, I called upon each of my members of Congress to give voice to the concerns that I was hearing as a state legislator. With representatives in Congress like Lisa Murkowski and Don Young, that message wasn’t warmly received, but I delivered it just the same.

And so, the next morning, I found myself standing shoulder to shoulder with half a million or more Americans waiting to hear the president speak, while the voice of Lee Greenwood echoed the sentiment of many in the crowd: “And I’ll gladly stand up, next to you, and defend her still today, ’cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land—God Bless the U.S.A.”

What did it mean to be in DC on January 6th? It meant being one of only a few from my state who had the opportunity to answer the call of the president and physically stand with him in his final days in office. For me, it meant thanking him for each of the times he had stood up for the American people, and doing so in a way that would be meaningful to him. Many more would have come from my state if timing, distance and weather had been more favorable. Being at the Ellipse and hearing the president speak meant not just standing with the president against the DC mantra of “Orange Man Bad.” Just as important to me, it meant standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of men and women of courage who love this nation and are still willing, when the chips were down, to stand and be counted for that love. And we are. As a veteran, it meant being present for a farewell to the president that the Pentagon had denied him.

…traveling to DC to stand shoulder to shoulder with Red-Blooded Americans from every state in the union was absolutely worth it.

For many of us, perhaps even most of us, it meant a willingness — not an invitation, but a willingness — to take a political beating, if not a physical one, just for attending. We had all watched, month after month, as the powers that be stood by while activists from the Left torched cities and preyed upon stragglers leaving Trump rallies in various parts of the country. The message was clear: Attend a Trump Rally in a Democrat stronghold at your own peril. Even so, when the president asked them to come, they came.

True to form, the Left maligned those who came. Whether they were law-abiding or engaged in violence, it made no difference. All were guilty by association. Even some of those who didn’t come, but were the type of people who would have, were accused. All were guilty of standing with the president. This has been used to justify the Capitol Police traveling all the way to Alaska to beat down the door of a Homer couple who attended Trump’s speech, even going so far as to confiscate their pocket Constitution as evidence against them. It has been used to overlook the mistreatment of many who were incarcerated in DC following the riots, opening up the U.S. to accusations from our adversaries that we are currently holding political prisoners, and leaving troubling questions for us all. Terribly, this has also been used to somehow justify overlooking the treatment of the two women who died that day; one beaten, and the other shot, despite the fact that neither woman appears to have engaged in violence. How profound that both of these events should receive such limited attention following months of wall-to-wall coverage highlighting concerns over police brutality.

Some will wonder why I don’t take this opportunity to bow the knee and further distance myself from the carnage that took place in and around the capitol building on January 6th. I have addressed attacks on law enforcement previously, but that is not my purpose today. Those attacks have nothing to do with what led half a million or more of us to travel to DC, and they have nothing to do with what it meant personally for me to be there. That’s someone else’s narrative. That’s their story. This isn’t about distancing myself from individuals I had no interaction with, but about the joy and privilege it was to stand with the those I did interact with, both in 2009 and again in 2021.

It was a long slog from Alaska, and there were many hours of waiting in a sea of humanity to hear the president, and the expected political beating from the Left began even before the votes for president had finished being counted—but traveling to DC to stand shoulder to shoulder with Red-Blooded Americans from every state in the union was absolutely worth it. America is under attack today, and those who stand by her will come under attack as well, from the least of us to the greatest. And it won’t matter what political party you belong to, or where you were born, or the color of your skin. The crime will be standing by America in her hour of need.

To those looking to tear down this nation, and wondering who will oppose your efforts, I say “Put me on your list.” No matter what future God has in store for this nation, I mean to leave my children and my grandchildren no room for doubt as to my love for this great land — God Bless the U.S.A.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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Alaska legislator reflects on why he chose to rally in DC on Jan. 6

Rep. David Eastman
Rep. David Eastman is a Republican member of the Alaska House, representing District 10 in Wasilla. He has served since January 17, 2017.


  • Greg in Homer says:

    Representative Eastman, Thank you very much for writing this essay. You demonstrate true leadership and patriotism. I see a bright future for you in Alaska politics and can’t wait to vote for you in a statewide election.

    • Michael Hughes says:

      Amen! You give me hope that our beloved country is not yet lost.

      • David Bartels says:

        The good People need a remedy from today’s outside the Law system of so called government and one of the remedies is our “right to be let alone” when no public servant can prove their outside the Law statutes cite, apply and compel one of We the People to do or not do anything! Blessings! David Bartels (David Eastman knows Me).

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Thank you representative Eastman! Very inspiring words. During the summer of 2020 I never could understand why governors didn’t call in the national guard to stop the riots? Why didn’t any of those people get arrested? How can our country the United ha ha States of America could stand by and do nothing. The Biden administration talked a good take to destroy our country and nobody questioned anything or ever tried to stop it from happening. So much has happened and nothing done until January 6th. I look at January 6th as more smoke to take down a president that did a great job while the whole time in office fighting the democratic party with attacks from every side. He still got the job done. He was the first president in years to step into North Korea. The first to keep Russia in check. He done so much for our country and to end with the democrats trying show him as being a bad president was a tragedy for more than half of the citizens of America. We had food on the shelves, gas at the pumps, respect from other world leaders. Now the USA is a joke to the world under Biden(Obama). I’ll stop here. It just isn’t good for my blood pressure!

  • Ed Martin Jr says:

    What has changed to forget this “The Almighty hath implanted in us these unextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes,” Paine wrote. “They are the guardians of his image in our hearts.” Where is the “common sense ” ? Government’s purpose was to serve the people. Paine described government as a “necessary evil,” which existed to give people a structure so they could work together to solve problems and prosper. But to do that, it had to be responsive to people’s needs. The British system, Paine argued, failed at that, because it gave the monarchy and nobles in Parliament too much power to thwart the people’s elected representatives. “The constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies, some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine,” Paine wrote.
    Can we see clearly as Thomas did over 200 years ago. I will live free or die with God’s grace in my possession !
    Thank you , Brother Patriot Eastman.

    • Ed Martin Jr says:

      Over the nearly 250 years since Paine’s publication of Common Sense, Paine, whom some call “the forgotten founder,” hasn’t received as much recognition as other important figures in the Revolution. There isn’t even a statue of him in the nation’s capital. Nevertheless, Paine’s pamphlet continues to be read, and the ideas in it—particularly the idea of American exceptionalism—continue to resonate among new generations of Americans.
      My wish is that God’s Hand is still upon us Americans!

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Agree Greg, Neil
    I wish, I could of attended the rally January 6th
    Just good old fashion Americans getting together.
    To support are great leader President Trump.
    Eastman for Governor, you have my vote.
    Keep Alaska Free

  • AKElsa says:

    Thank You Representative Eastman!

  • Meister says:

    Very thankful to know that Alaska has a representative who will not comply, will not apologize, will not fall for the terrible and false narratives being spread about January 6th. Know that there are many grateful Alaskans who are proud to be counted among your supporters, regardless of where we live. God bless America, and God bless you, Rep. Eastman.

  • thou_not_yet_knoweth_truth says:

    Beware false idols my friends and those who support and attach themselves to them. The real lie is in their hearts and quite possibly yours as well.

  • Di says:

    Thank you! Mr. Eastman for the words of truth on the matter of January 6, 2021. The worst of the worst is still happening to people that attended those events. Thank you for your service in our wars and to this state. You have the courage it takes to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves and on subjects no one wants to own.

  • Clark says:

    Thank you Representative David Eastman, this is the second recent essay I have read from you and both have been outstanding! I appreciate your solid stand an unwavering resolve to always do what is right despite the relentless opposition! Thank you for your work on the behalf of Alaskans, we appreciate and do not take it for granted. Keep up the good fight!

  • Terry Tiree says:

    Well Mr Eastman, I’m not buying your claim that your a victim. Ten bucks says you regret not busting into the Capitol like your fellow conned pseudo Patriots. I think your next task is to craft a way to save face when, in a few years, Trump is indicted and maybe prisoned for his crimes. How will you explain THAT to your grandchildren?

    • Michael Hughes says:

      Sheeple you are

    • Topcat says:

      Rep. Eastman keep up the good work you’re doing. There are a lot of us that feel the same way you do our country is in terrible trouble. We need to get back to being a Godly Nation. God Bless the U S A.

  • A. N. Gottschalk says:

    T. Tiree, of course, “Mr. Eastman Goes to Washington!” What else? “Mr. Eastman the bellhop?” Heavy on the salutation! What a laugh! What else, but a laugh?

  • Greg in Homer says:

    Terry Tiree, I suggest you learn grammar. It will make your posts more effective. Otherwise, you sound like an idiot and you fail to make your points resonate with readers.

    • A. N. Gottschalk says:

      T. Tiree, regarding Eastman’s article, Greg, the Homer guy, posted the following: “Representative Eastman, Thank you very much for writing this essay. You demonstrate true leadership and patriotism. I see a bright future for you in Alaska politics and can’t wait to vote for you in a statewide election.”
      You have to grant that his grammar is proper, but the posting shows that his judgement of character is poor. An elementary command of English grammar will get you only so far in life: naivete is naivete, even when said in “good English.”

    • Terry Tiree says:

      You’re right Greg, I fully agree with you. I see several mistakes in my post.

  • jh says:

    The American people said enough is enough and staged a protest at the DC Capitol grounds on Jan 6, 2021. A man, by the name of Ray Epps was seen encouraging the protestors to go UP to the capitol. (There are pictures and videos of this man).
    Some are saying Epps was a plant. Videos also clearly show antifa presence.

  • Dave Miller says:

    Had I been able to make the trip, for the same reasons expressed by Mr. Eastman I would have been there too. And not for a moment should any American apologize for standing for the core values of constitutional limitations placed upon the branches of government and upholding the essence of free men and women under God! Thank you Senator Eastman for being where many of us would have liked to have been! And standing for what most of us still believe in!

  • Boon says:

    Miss the days when Alaskan politics wasn’t infused with lower 48 populist propaganda (from the left and the right). When did we collectively become such poor judges of character that instead of representing ourselves we find it fit to think some fraud from New York or a not nearly capable enough goof from Scranton, can be aligned in any way with what’s best for Alaska? I’d prefer my state representatives to focus on Alaska instead of riding the coattails of any national figure and pretending it’s for Alaska.

    • Terry Tiree says:

      What’s your opinion of Eastman and Trump?

      • lyndsey says:

        Thumbs up to Eastman, and Trump is better than anyone the Left has to offer, though not a fan of Trump’s vaccines and Operation Warp Speed.

      • Boon says:

        One of them is very naive and one of them, among other things, is not. Unfortunately the problem with opinions is that there are more than enough of them out there, and even more unfortunately, many of those opinions are held by people who are truly unable to form their own.

  • hoftroy says:

    Alec Baldwin killed more people than the January 6th protestors in 2021.

  • jh says:

    The radical leftist democrats, love to call the Oath Keepers, a right-wing VIOLENT militia group.
    The Oath Keepers LOVE America!
    It is the lying leftist Marxist radical lunatics who hate America – they are the ones who destroy America!!!!
    The radical leftist democrats are tirelessly trying to immortalize January 6, 2021, as America’s “Dooms Day,”
    The “sponge brain” radical left-wing protestors have BROKE into GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS AND ASSAULTED DEMOCRACY (8) EIGHT TIMES! They have a habitual habit of attacking and occupying government buildings, with people inside.
    1.Interior Department Overtaken
    2.President Trump Moved to Bunker After White House Fence Breach in 2020
    3.Wisconsin Capitol Overwhelmed leftist filled the Wisconsin Capitol in 2014.
    4.IN 2020, A Portland Federal Courthouse Overtaken by Violence- REMEMBER THIS ONE?
    The lunatic Democrats called it “peaceful protesting.”
    The federal courthouse in Portland has been a repeated target of violent Antifa rioters. In July 2020, a mob began setting fires inside the fence protecting the courthouse, shaking the fence, launching projectiles over it, and even trying to take it down. Several people even breached it, with rioters launching projectiles and flashing lasers at the federal police officers who responded, People have thrown boards through one of the windows at the federal courthouse building.
    The next month, the courthouse was shut down completely over domestic terrorism threats that someone might drive a vehicle filled with explosives into the building.
    Just hours after a security fence was removed from the courthouse in March 2021, rioters broke glass and lit fires once again.
    BIDEN AND VP KAMALA HARRIS BAILED THEM OUT!! They bailed out a murderer and a dangerous child molester – Darnika Floyd, who was charged with second-degree murder after allegedly stabbing a friend to death, and Christopher Boswell, who is facing charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.
    VP Kamala Harris put up $100,000 on behalf of Floyd and $350,000 on behalf of Boswell.
    5. Democracy Halted at the Texas Capitol
    In July 2013, an unruly mob of pro-abortion demonstrators interfered with the democratic process when thousands of them occupied the Texas Capitol and screamed at the top of their lungs, “grinding the Senate to a halt” with the noise.
    6.SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States, Police Lines Breached, Senate Overwhelmed by Anti-Kavanaugh Activists- Some of these lunatics even made their way into the gallery during the final vote.
    During the dustup over now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court, which was radically amplified thanks to the Christine Blasey Ford circus, demonstrators forced their way past law enforcement, breaching police lines at both the Senate and the Supreme Court, where they stormed the steps and beat on the doors.
    After announcing that he planned to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, then-Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was accosted on an elevator by several women, who shouted in his face and wouldn’t let him move.
    At the beginning of October, shortly before the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh, a mob of protesters took over a part of the Hart Senate Office Building, which is part of the Capitol complex.
    7. Senate Bombed by Left-Wing Terrorists
    Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg, two left-wing extremists, along with five others planted a bomb outside the Senate chamber inside the U.S. Capitol, where it detonated and caused $1 million in damage in 1983.
    8. Senate Chamber Breached by Biden Himself -Joe Biden claimed to have broken into the White House Chamber and sat in the vice president’s chair when he was 21 years old.