On January 20, when Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, eight students from Naperville Central experienced the moment up close.
“It was really incredible. It was something that is completely different than anything I’ve ever done. And the mix of people there are the atmosphere was just so insane, it really felt like living history,” said Madison Smith, a sophomore at Naperville Central High School.
The trip to our nation’s capital was organized by Central social studies teacher Donna Mohn, who also took students to the 2009 and 2013 inaugurations of Barack Obama.
“It was pretty crazy, we were packed in pretty tightly we were in a really good position,” said Tatum Satterlee, a junior at Naperville Central High School.
Students signed up for the trip before the November 8 election, many of them interested in getting involved in the political process regardless of party affiliation.
“The importance of voicing your opinion is really something you need to do and it’s something that, with the recent election our generation has begun doing much more. This whole getting involved side of politics that has sort of been ignored up until this point,” said Liam Doolin, a junior at Naperville Central High School.
The group also witnessed portions of the Women’s March on Washington, which took place the day after the inauguration.
“I definitely think the women’s march is something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life because it’s something that we’re going to be reading about for the next 150 years. Because there’s never really been anything like it, so it was really like being in the middle of a historical event,” said Smith.
And while the students may have varying political beliefs, they all left D.C. with a passion for getting involved.
“The decisions that no President Trump is making, they’re going to be affecting me and my generation for the rest of our lives and so even though some of these decisions don’t effect us now, they will later. So I think it’s important to put our voice in there,” said Satterlee.
“I just think that it’s important to get involved with our political system, especially right now. And if you can do it in a way that’s respectful and that’s kind, there’s nothing that’s better than that,” said Smith.
The group received tickets to the inauguration from Congressman Bill Foster.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
Get daily hometown news and sports delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!