On Friday, Jan. 6, two years after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, students and faculty came together to remember and learn more about the attacks.
The event was organized by the Community Engagement & Experiential Learning (CEEL) office. An email to the student body from Assistant Principal for Student Life Quin Killy explained that the event’s purpose was to “reflect on the important moment in our nation’s (and city’s) history.”
The event featured a viewing of Four Hours at the Capitol, a documentary that consisted of first-person accounts of the Jan. 6 attack. CEEL’s Program Director Leigh Tait invited Igor Bobic, a senior politics reporter at HuffPost who was in the Capitol during the attack. After the documentary, Bobic spoke to the student body and answered questions about his experience.
Senior Max Wang told the Bit that he found the documentary interesting. The Capitol insurrection “was an important event in our recent history,” Wang added, “and it was good to learn more about it.”
“Igor Bobic is a good friend of mine,” Tait said. When Killy asked Tait and CEEL Program Associate Michelle McKeever to host an assembly on Jan. 6, Tait reached out to Igor. She decided to screen the documentary because she felt it was a “brutal but honest recap of the event.”
Sophomore Emerson Rising said that he thought the assembly was “powerful and moving.” Rising added that he learned more about the Capitol attack and the events leading up to it, such as how insurrectionists were misled about the results of the 2020 election by former President Trump.
Given that “January 6th was obviously a massive moment,” Tait said, “we figured that this was an opportunity actually to take a step back away from classes and just talk about what happened that day and what’s still happening in our city.”
McKeever told the Bit that there was no programming about the Jan. 6 attack last year in part due to the pandemic. “We were in a different place with COVID, but this year, we were able to really put together something that was meaningful and impactful with everyone together,” she said.
“I think it was just a matter of wanting to do it in the right way,” Tait said about not having an assembly in 2022. “We wanted to bring someone in who could speak from the ‘I’ perspective about it.” Last year, witnesses to the insurrection were “still processing and weren’t ready to speak.”
“My chest felt tight after watching that documentary,” Tait said. “I think that talking to Igor provided some appreciated, much-needed clarity. We all probably needed an opportunity to breathe and unwind and just be with our people.”
“Through the intensity of all that’s going on, we still need to find the moments for respite and for joy and fun,” McKeever said.