DEAR ABBY: My belated thanks to you for encouraging your readers to send holiday messages to our troops. By letter, and more recently via the Internet, OperationDearAbby.net has put countless Americans directly in touch with the fine men and women who serve in uniform.
We at the Pentagon also want to thank the many thoughtful people who wrote to us after our building was struck by the hijacked plane on Sept. 11, 2001.
Americans across the U.S.A. as well as people from other countries around the world sent condolences, encouragement and support. They prayed for us, lit candles, sang for us and drew colorful pictures. We have received angels and flags, posters, banners, beautiful quilts -- even a can of lima beans from a schoolchild in Georgia -- not to mention thousands of cards, some as large as a wall.
Abby, please remind your readers what President Bush said about the war on terror: "Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have seen." Our military is filled with the sons and daughters of America. They make us proud. -- DONALD H. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Indeed they do. I am honored to pass along your important message and I urge my readers to continue to write and support our troops wherever they are. Regardless of one's political leanings, after Sept. 11, we are united in a war against terrorism.