It is cold today in Seattle, but not as cold as Jan. 20, 1969, in Washington, D.C.

That day my wife and I stood in the snow to watch Lyndon Johnson turn the presidential reins over to Richard Nixon.

We weren’t there because we supported either — we loathed both. We weren’t there because the past year had been easy — we’d seen unrest in our cities, our capital city in flames and the assassinations of two revered men, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy.

We were there because we needed to see the peaceful transition of presidential power and that the flame of democracy’s promise still flickered.

We weren’t alone. We stood shoulder to shoulder in a freezing crowd. Many opposed Nixon’s election. But we felt the warmth of watching two men of opposing parties who wanted to be president stand before our country’s chief justice and acknowledge that the will of the people expressed at the ballot box prevailed in our country.

I wonder whether on Jan. 20, 2021, those people who may be standing in the Washington, D.C., cold outside the U.S. Capitol and those watching from home will get to feel the same warmth.

I hope so.

Mike Cohen, Seattle