Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband is a survivor of the sinking of the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. Of the 429 crewmen who were killed, only 35 bodies were identified. The remaining bodies were interred in graves marked "Unknown." This is just one example of the tragedies of that day.

Is it any wonder we are upset that many people are unaware of what Pearl Harbor Day commemorates? One wife of a survivor was recently asked, "Is that where all the tea was dumped in the harbor?"

The following poem pays a beautiful tribute to those who died on that day in infamy. I hope you will consider printing it on Pearl Harbor Day. -- JEAN GOODYEAR, CASA GRANDE, ARIZ.

DEAR READERS: Some of you may not remember Pearl Harbor, a beautiful bay in Hawaii where a U.S. naval base was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941, but that day marked the beginning of the United States' involvement in World War II. The poem is a fitting tribute to those who died on that sad day.


Pearl of beauty, pearl of life

Within your channel deep.

Rest the men and tools of war

For you and God to keep.

From northern skies

Fell death and strife

As history wrote by early light,

A tearful memory tale.

What valor is there to be found

In tragic human loss?

Man must begin to live as one

No matter what the cost.

For all who died that Sunday morn

We bow our heads and pray.

For them, please grant them peace.

For us ... a better way!


DEAR ABBY: My mother passed away a little over a month ago. She and Dad lived in another state, and for the eight months from her diagnosis until she died, my father took care of her. I am taking her death very hard.

Dad now tells me has met a wonderful woman! I am beside myself and cannot accept it. I feel he is in a vulnerable state and it is too soon after my mother's passing.

This woman has no job and lives in a trailer. She has an invalid husband who lives in another state. I don't want my father taken for a ride.

My father has some stability -- a house, a car, some money in the bank, and friends and family he will probably lose. Please help with some advice. I know he reads your column. -- TOO SOON

DEAR TOO SOON: Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your beloved mother. I advise you to remain calm. You may be jumping the gun on your father because of your own grief. Although he said he has "met a wonderful woman," he did not say that he has designs on someone who has an invalid spouse living in another state. Your father may be vulnerable and lonely, but based on what you have written, there's no reason to assume that he's seriously interested in a romantic involvement.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600