NORTH EAST — Cecil County residents were glued to the news Wednesday as a rally in Washington D.C. in support of Pres. Donald J. Trump turned into a mob of people invading the US Capitol where Congress was approving the Electoral College votes in favor of President-elect Joseph Biden.
Less than a day later people in Cecil County had strong opinions of the event, which resulted in the death of at least four people. One of those deaths — 41-year-old Ashli Babbit — was by a gunshot wound to the chest, allegedly at the hands of Metro Police who were trying to stop the insurgence.
Justin Hollada said he was upset that people died, especially Babbit.
“I feel grief for the person that died,” the North East man said, but laid the blame on the president. “He told them to climb the walls.”
However Shirley Winters from Kirkwood, Pa. saw the throng of people as peaceful.
“It was not like Minnesota,” she said, referring to the protests spurred by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.
As the events unfolded live Wednesday viewers of the various television news channels had a front seat, watching Trump supporters rush the building by scaling walls, breaking in windows and pushing doors open. Once inside the insurgents entered the House of Representatives and adjoining offices including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life,” said Beverly Gatchell of North East. “The government was absolutely falling apart.”
While Gatchell said she would have participated in the rally, her friend Carolyn McKinney would have stayed home.
“This is a truly sad time,” McKinney, also from North East, said. She views the incident as further proof of the Biblical end times. “And I don’t think things are going to get better.”
Susan Kline described what she was seeing as “chaos and disaster.”
“It was terrible,” Kline, from Nottingham, Pa., said.
Conversely, Shirley Winters found the whole series of events thrilling.
“I think it was very exciting,” Winters, from Kirkwood, Pa., said. “I think they had a good showing.”
Noretta Geller was among those shocked by the day’s events.
“People acting that way was crazy,” the North East woman said. “I think it’s awful.”
“I know he wanted to get back in but he has to face the facts. He didn’t win,” Geller said.
Geller agreed with those calling for invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow Vice President Michael Pence to declare Trump unfit for office, elevating Pence to commander in chief.
“If (Trump) is going to carry on like this let’s do it and get it over with,” Geller said.
Heath Kerstetter, on the other hand, said forcing Trump out now would be a waste of manpower and resources.
“He’s only got two weeks left. How much damage can he do?” the Newark man asked.
“We shouldn’t have let him get into office in the first place,” said Saadiq Lawton. The Philadelphia man said he didn’t watch much of the coverage but he’s heard enough about the siege.
“It still doesn’t make sense to me,” he said. “This whole situation is crazy.”
Lawton thinks Trump should just concede and move on.
However Bob Newton said more should have been done to convince everyone that the election was legitimate and without tampering.
“It sounds to me like they have not done a thorough investigation of the election returns,” Newton, from Elk Neck, said. “I would not say it’s rigged but somebody does. It should be a matter of public record.”
During Trump’s four years in the White House Newton said the economy was great.
“The man is not my favorite but I thought his politics were good. I thought he was for the working man,” Newton said.
“We’ve all had to accept a lot of change this year,” Geller said, adding a message to the president: “You lost. Stop fighting it.”
Kline went back to 1988 and borrowed the words of former President George H.W. Bush from his acceptance speech for the GOP nomination for president.
“He said he wanted a kinder, gentler nation. I say the same,” Kline said.