DEAR ABBY: As a nation, we Americans are at our best when we come together bonded by a noble purpose. It is my privilege to invite our citizens to unite for the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. (local time) tomorrow on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31. Our hope is that your readers will pause at that moment whether at a ballgame or barbecue, in the swimming pool or at the shopping mall, in respectful silence to honor America's fallen.
To unite the country in remembrance, Congress officially established the National Moment of Remembrance in 2000. And as has been done in the past, in observance of this National Moment, Major League Baseball games will stop, Amtrak trains will blow their whistles and the National Grocers Association and Food Marketing Institute will have customers and staff pause in more than 30,000 stores throughout our country.
Abby, your patriotism and compassion, united with that of your millions of readers, have helped us -- and continue to help us -- unite our country in remembrance of our fallen on Memorial Day.
We must ensure that their lives, their deaths and the memory of their sacrifice will never be forgotten. So let us stop for a moment at 3:00 (local time) tomorrow and commit to live honoring America's fallen every day that we breathe the fresh air of freedom in our land of hope and promise. -- CARMELLA LA SPADA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE COMMISSION ON REMEMBRANCE
DEAR CARMELLA: Thank you for your beautiful letter. I accept your kind invitation on behalf of myself and Dear Abby readers everywhere. This act of unity on Memorial Day will be a time of respect, reflection and commitment in memory of the almost 2 million men and women who have died in the service of our nation. Their sacrifices for us live on in each constitutional right we practice, and in our hearts always.
DEAR ABBY: I am 14 and will attend a private high school in the fall. Both of my sisters were star athletes at the same school. I am gifted in both academics and athletics, and I'll be taking two honors classes.
My dad recently pointed out that I am required to play a sport. I believe if I do, I will be too stressed out and my grades will slip. He wants me to be this "super child" that I am not and go to Harvard. Everyone who knows me overestimates me. How should I approach him to tell him how I really feel? -- PUSHED TO MY LIMITS IN ALBUQUERQUE
DEAR PUSHED: If you're unsure about your ability to carry the load, approach your father as you have approached me. However, before you do, I wish you would take into consideration that participating in a sport can be an effective way of releasing stress -- including academic pressure. If sports are a requirement at your school, there is a good reason for it. So please, at least give it a try. If it's too much for you, talk to your parents, as well as your counselor at school.
P.S. As to "everyone who knows you overestimating you," has it occurred to you that you may be UNDERestimating yourself?
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)