WASHINGTON, D.C. — A calm on Capitol Hill greeted the nation on Thursday after the unprecedented events, involving rioters storming the U.S. Capitol as a joint session of Congress met to count the certified Electoral College votes. Still, things are far from being back to normal there.
Officers from a number of DC-area law enforcement agencies now surround the Capitol, and additional fencing and barriers are now going up around the building, which the U.S. Congress calls home.
“My 87-year-old mom and my 14-year-old great-nephew, we were here, and the girls were right up by the steps and they saw the barriers get pushed down,” said Arizona resident Brenda Gifford. “Why are they putting up these big fences today after everybody's gone, when they had basically sawhorses up there yesterday?”
Those are just a few of the security questions now raised after a mob entered the Capitol with seemingly little push back.
What they witnessed is now affecting some of those who traveled from out-of-state to the nation’s capital to attend a rally with President Trump that preceded the violence at the Capitol.
“Well, it was very disturbing. I was very troubled when I went to sleep,” said North Dakota resident Cliff Dyrud. “I just prayed out my heart until I felt I could go to sleep and then I could go to sleep again, but I'm concerned for the nation.”
Others are also concerned for their city. With a garbage bag in hand, one DC resident said she just wanted to help clean up the mess still littered around the Capitol, from garbage to poles and more.
“I handed off some of the poles to some of the Capitol cops earlier, so I’m hoping they’ll let me get back to them to take it to the back,” she said.
It comes as the security perimeter around the Capitol is tightened further, a place that plays host to the inaugurations of U.S. presidents, including the upcoming one for President-elect Joe Biden.
Washington, D.C. remains under a state of public emergency for the next two weeks through Inauguration Day. That is the next major event in the city and potentially a test of any security lessons learned from what happened at the Capitol.