Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged an anti-war protester who interrupted Tuesday’s Senate hearing on military action in Syria by saying he once held “very similar” feelings.

A woman who appeared to be with anti-war group Code Pink was escorted from the hearing after shouting, “Nobody wants this war!” and “Launching cruise missiles means another war! The American people do not want this!”

“The first time I testified before this committee when I was 27 years old, I had feelings very similar to that protester,” Kerry said after order was restored. “I would just say that is exactly why it is so important that we are all here having this debate, talking about these things before the country and that the Congress itself will act representing the American people. And I think we can all respect those who have a different point of view. And we do.”

Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey were appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in an effort to win support for a U.S. strike on Syria.

Kerry said a Syria strike would “unequivocally” make the U.S. more secure, and Hagel said there are U.S. allies in the region ready to support any U.S. action.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is reported to be shifting troops in preparation for a possible strike.

On The Blog: John Kerry, Then and Now