DEAR ABBY: As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, we should remember that this noble holiday is more than just a day off from work or school to spend time with our families or enjoy the outdoors. Memorial Day was created to honor those who gave their lives in service to our nation, and to reflect on the blessings of freedom.
This year, President Clinton and the U.S. Congress are joining together to urge Americans to put the "memorial" back into Memorial Day by participating in a National Moment of Remembrance. At 3 p.m. local time on Monday, May 29, Americans everywhere are encouraged to pause for one minute to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. We ask that "Taps" be played on radio and television stations and at public events wherever possible, and that those who are driving turn on their headlights. Whether at home or abroad, alone or with others, every American is encouraged to observe this moment of reflection in his or her own way.
On Memorial Day 2000, let us as a nation unite to thank the courageous men and women who paid with their lives so that we could enjoy this Memorial Day and every day in freedom. -- JOHN PODESTA, CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE PRESIDENT
DEAR MR. PODESTA: That's very little to ask of the proud citizens of this nation. Devoting one minute out of the holiday to remember those who have laid down their lives that we might live in freedom is the least we can do to acknowledge their sacrifice.
I thank you for bringing this to the attention of my readers.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Rob," was adopted at the age of 6 weeks. I have known about it since we first began dating.
We now have three school-age children, and we never thought it was necessary to tell them that their dad was adopted. We were wrong.
About a month ago, our 10-year-old daughter got into a quarrel with "Megan," the 13-year-old daughter of my husband's adoptive aunt. Megan was cruel to our daughter and told her that she is not really a "Smith" grandchild. This resulted in our daughter coming home in tears and totally confused.
At that point we did our best to explain to her that, while she has a different genetic makeup, she is certainly a Smith in every other way.
Abby, this painful incident could have been avoided had we been more open with our daughter from the beginning about her dad's adoption. Please tell your readers that honesty is always the best policy. Thanks for listening. -- LEARNED THE HARD WAY
DEAR LEARNED: I have done that in the past, and I will continue to do it. Your letter serves as a valuable warning to parents who may have withheld information that could provide a child with a better understanding of his or her family.
P.S. Your husband should consider confronting his aunt and asking her where she thinks her daughter "picked up" such a cruel idea.
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