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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR READERS: Today, Veterans Day, we celebrate the sacrifice and patriotism of our nation's military. Many gave their lives to guarantee our freedom. We owe our veterans and those men and women currently serving in the military a deep debt of gratitude. I salute you all, as do my readers.

In honor of Veterans Day, I'm reprinting an essay on patriotism that was written by the granddaughter of Phyl Erickson of Coon Rapids, Minn. The young lady, Jenna Guimaraes, was only 12 at the time, but she understood the importance of this aspect of our freedom.

PATRIOTISM

by Jenna Guimaraes

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Every day my classmates and I recite this oath. By doing so, we promise to be true to our country, ourselves and our fellow Americans.

In school we study the history of our country, learning about those who lived long ago, who stood up for their beliefs, risked their lives, homes and safety to give promise to a better life to their descendants. Because of these people, our country is a great place to live.

Though we are younger than most countries, many look up to us for protection, leadership, support and friendship.

Patriotism can be shown in many ways, even by ordinary people. Mary Hays, otherwise known as Molly Pitcher, is one of them.

Molly Pitcher carried water to the soldiers during the Revolutionary War. When one of the soldiers fell from heat stroke, Molly shot the cannon for him. Molly loved her country so much that she risked her life in battle, even at a time when women didn't fight.

We don't have to risk our lives to show our patriotism, but I am grateful to those who did.

DEAR ABBY: I've been corresponding with this great, wealthy guy named "Howard." We met through an introduction service and exchanged photographs. During our telephone conversation last night, he mentioned that he doesn't like women who have had breast implants. Howard likes chesty girls -- which I am -- but I DO have breast implants. He told me this after I purchased a nonrefundable plane ticket to meet him at his home in Los Angeles.

Howard says I'm gorgeous, but he assumes I am naturally endowed. Abby, I wanted to tell him, but since I have already purchased the ticket, I think the best thing to do is to tell him face-to-face. I know he will be hurt because he is clearly smitten with me -- and the feeling is mutual.

We have a ton in common, and despite his wealth, I find him down-to-earth and kind. I am a sincere person and don't want to pull the wool over his eyes. Have you any suggestions on how I should handle this? -- D CUP IN DETROIT

DEAR D: Once he meets you in person, he may realize that your finer qualities -- all of which come from within -- outweigh your two faults. If he doesn't, then the loss is his.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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