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June 1st, 2020, The Day of Reckoning for America

Jayden D'Onofrio - Teen Aspect - June 1st, 2022
June 1st, 2020, Police and National Guard forces clear out Lafayette Square inducing a warzone in front of the White House (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

Two years ago, today, was supposed to be just any other day for me. My school year was ending, summer was approaching, and COVID-19 seemed to be drifting away ever so slightly. Instead of enjoying the night of June 1st, I found myself fixed to the television invigorated by feelings of rage and sorrow.

A single tear rolled down my cheek brought about by the failures of the almost 250-year-old nation and the realization of how fragile the basis of human rights is. Little did I know that my future would be settled based off this single event. I witnessed live the desecration of this nations most vital foundation, the once thought untouchable 1st amendment rights, on the orders of then President, Donald J. Trump.

For those that may not remember, during the nation’s necessary uproar over the murder of George Floyd, thousands of peaceful protestors gathered in front of the White House, specifically Lafayette Square. In a sick move of terror, the United States' highest elected officials cracked down on American’s most fundamental right, which, in the process, directly caused dozens of civilians to be injured and allowed former President Trump to take a picture with a bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Such an action not only hurt Americans physically, but it also presented the sheer chaos the nation found itself coiled into.

Witnessing peaceful protests be absolutely destroyed by a bombardment of tear gas and rubber bullets in front of the capital of the free world was far more than just a warzone, it was an attempt to eviscerate the principles set forth by the United States founding fathers.

José Luís Magana/AFP/Getty Images

A warzone created in the midst of a nation once said to be founded on the belief that it lives by the people, for the people, and with the people. But these very truths were violated by the highest levels of government through an act of carelessness and outright violent behavior. At the age of 15, I was scared of our future but unafraid to admit my disgust with what could be a great nation. No longer did the police look like our local community members, instead they looked like destructive forces to the roots of our long-running democracy. The rampant racism exemplified throughout the ranks of police forces across the nation caused the greatest upheaval of American tranquility seen in well over 60 years and was supported by the nations head of the government, President Donald J. Trump. The sense of revulsion that came over me and many others across the country debuted a vital sense of unwavering determination that was more than necessary to disrupt the status quo.

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The sheer belief that President Trump and his goons would be let off free from such a horrible act was far more than just unacceptable to many across the nation. A rejuvenating spirit spread wildly amongst even the most conservative citizens of this country, eventually leading to the end of Donald Trump’s distasteful presidency and the introduction of an uplifted administration, that of Joe Biden. While far from perfect, President Biden has once more established the sense of unity necessary to control the extremes of this country. The assurance of no longer having to witness the absolute destruction of the United States' most sacred rights should be and is the most vigorous ideal of any common American, visible through Donald Trump’s failure to be re-elected.

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