It was Jan. 16, 1997. My 13-year-old daughter, who was studying American government, asked me if we could go to Washington to attend President Clinton’s second inauguration. I explained that you had to plan ahead and get a ticket. You couldn’t just show up.

She was so disappointed that I promised that we would go to the next presidential inauguration, no matter who the new president might be. We had a long talk about how lucky we were to live in a country where we have peaceful transitions of government, no matter who is elected.

Fast-forward four years. The 2001 inauguration was looming, but Florida was in the midst of a recount. As a “yellow dog” Democrat, I wondered, “Could I go to George W. Bush’s inauguration if he were the winner?” There was no question. Of course we would go.

We called ourselves “the bipartisan Maine delegation.” My Republican neighbor, my Democratic daughter and her friend and my Republican-leaning eighth-grade son took the train to Washington and celebrated along with other out-of-towners, many of whom wore Stetsons! We even laughed as we wondered whether Mainers would come in sou’westers if George Mitchell were ever elected!

It was a great day despite the sleet and freezing rain. I have been to two inaugurations since then and continue to be impressed as one president hands over the reins to another – just as the Founding Fathers envisioned.

In the end, it’s all about democracy, the process and the voice of the people. Can Donald Trump see that?

Donna Miller Damon

Chebeague Island