On inauguration day 1953, I was a 23-year-old CIA trainee. Pairing up with another trainee, we scouted the National Mall then walked to the Old Senate Office Building, where we could see people on the roof overlooking the site of the ceremonies. Our goal was to join them.

No one blocked our entry. Strolling the second-floor corridor, I stopped at the offices of Idaho Sen. Henry Dworshak. The senator came out, introduced himself and asked, “You boys from Idaho?” I responded, “Sure, me.” He replied, “From where?” I answered, “Gooding,” a tiny pass-through town on the way to Sun Valley. The senator invited us to join his party and watch the ceremonies from his balcony. After enjoying the buffet and getting the route to the roof, we took off to watch the ceremonies from there.

We finished the day at the railroad station, up front in the audience saying farewell to a happy Harry and Bess Truman.

Today, I find dismay over freedoms lost balanced by hope for the future of our democracy under a Biden administration. Success will require active backing from every supporter. It’s up to each of us to make it happen. Let’s get to work!

David Olson, Issaquah