The events that unfolded on January 6th, 2021 remain fresh in many Americans minds.
The riot and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building carried out by supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump, white supremacists, and other right side extremist groups caused nationwide panic and upset. A few members of the student body at Glenbard South were asked to share their own reactions to the insurrection.
These students were first asked to give one word that came to mind when recalling the events of the Capitol insurrection. Additionally, these students were asked if they had any concerns about an event like this possibly occurring in the near future.
Emily Puchalski, a freshman, answered with the word ‘Disappointment’. She added, “It’s so extremely sad that we have to deal with people with so little respect for the lives of Congresspeople and other civilians. Donald Trump is fueling these white supremacist organizations with his words and encouraging their damaging actions. Lawmakers and journalists felt that their lives were at risk and this entire situation and the Trump administration’s response has been saddening.”
In response to the next question, she said, “I’m still somewhat concerned of another event like this occurring, but hope that Joe Biden will take better control of the state of our nation.”
Felicity Abbott, sophomore, similarly said, “The word ‘terrifying’ comes to mind when I think of the event. I find it truly terrifying that people carried out such extreme actions based off of thin claims made around our election.” Responding to the second prompt, she said, “I am fearful this will happen in the future because I feel that now more than ever people are willing to believe any and everything they read or see. Including on social media.”
Naomi Friedman, a junior, responded, “The first word that comes to mind when I think of the recent insurrection at the capital is ‘chaos’. I’ve never seen anything like this before. The fact that a group of people were able to easily break into the nation’s capital is insane.” In response to the second question, she said, “I am fearful that another event like this will happen in the near future, and I think it most likely will.” She explained that this was because Trump’s supporters are very upset over the election results and want to keep him in power. This may lead to an attempt to halt the upcoming inauguration of presidential elect Joe Biden.
She added, “I think that right now the two parties in America are so divided that until the two party system is broken down and another more effective system is introduced, there will continue to be events like the insurrection at the capital.”
Angela Pescatori, senior, replied to the first question with the word, “Terrorism”. To the second question, she responded “I am a little worried that another event like that could happen in the future. I do not think it would be as serious. Now people know that an event like this is possible, they are a little more prepared.” She gave an example of the national guard staying overnight in the U.S. Capitol building as a measure of extra security during the presidential transition.
These students also shared some hopes they had regarding a few possible positive outcomes of this upsetting event.
Naomi Friedman hoped a possible result of the events that occured at the capitol will be that “public officials will be more prepared to deal and de-escalate situations similar to this more effectively.”
Felicity Abbott said she is hopeful that “those involved have had a change of heart after bearing the consequences of their actions” although she understood that “one can never be too sure as to what extremities humans will go to.”
The overall responses of these students shared a great deal of similarity with many of the responses vocalized across the nation: frustrated, appalled, and upset. However, as the presidential transition comes to a close, these students are overall hopeful that if another occurrence similar to the events of the insurrection is to unfold, there will be more preparations put in place and an overall more effective response that will put a stop to anyone looking to cause conflict or harm upon our nation.