One year later: a retrospective on the January 6 Insurrection

A look back at the past — and forward to the future — following the attack on the U.S. Capitol

August Hobbs, News Writer

In the early afternoon of January 6, 2021 thousands of Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol building as the 2020 election results were being certified. As a result, five people lost their lives and many were left injured and traumatized. Now, looking back, many people are uncertain about the future of American democracy.

Mr. Heiser, a history teacher at Rancocas Valley, said that the day after the riots he made a speech to his classes about what had happened.

“The topic of my speech [was]… all of you deserve better than this,” he said. “Adults have set a terrible example of being divided, of being against each other…how are high school students going to know and learn and grow in what we hope will be a good country, if this is what adults are doing?”

How are high school students going to know and learn and grow in what we hope will be a good country, if this is what adults are doing?”

— Mr. Heiser

According to the New York Times, “Federal officials have seen an uptick in online threats related to the anniversary of the Capitol attack — including a video calling for a mass hanging of lawmakers.’’ 

“We need to do better as adults for everyone… in my classes because it was horrifying to see that,” said Mr. Heiser.

In the wake of January 6, over 725 people were arrested. Two hundred and twenty five people were charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees. More than 75 of those were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers or causing serious bodily injury to an officer, according to an article by the Washington Post.

“I was watching the news with my uncle… he had a lot of emotions towards it and I was just watching it with him,” said senior Taylor Hylton. “I feel like politics and who’s running our country and who has authority is what’s wrong with our country.”

An October poll from Grinnell-Selzer found that 60 percent of Republicans are not confident that votes will be counted properly in the 2022 midterms. Election officials have been inundated with an unprecedented wave of violent threats, almost exclusively from Trump supporters who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent, stated Vox in an article. 

In the midst of the attack people watching at home were anxious about the events taking place at the Capitol; many people watching were unclear as to why the protests were happening in the first place.

Freshman Daivik Pandya said, “I had some details… I didn’t know the exact reason why [the Capitol was being attacked].”

January 6 has a lasting impact on the political climate even a year later. The events have divided the nation and still do to this day, but there is much to learn from what has happened. 

“My hope is the younger generation, that’s always where change happens and they can see these things and say you know what when we’re in charge it’s going to be different,” said Mr. Heiser.