DEAR ABBY: The Friday morning before Memorial Day, I read the letter in your column from Carmella La Spada from the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. On Memorial Day, I was invited to a barbecue at the home of friends, so I decided to create our own moment of silence.
The gathering included myself, my teen-age son and the host family, which consisted of two more teens and several older relatives. The host had served in the Navy during the Gulf War, so the moment of remembrance held extra meaning for him.
At 3 p.m., the group gathered around the American flag in the front yard. I read Ms. La Spada's letter aloud, as it explained beautifully the reason for the moment of silence. Then my son, who plays the trumpet, played a beautiful rendition of "Taps."
The experience gave me a deep sense of gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, made possible by all of the men and women who have served in our armed forces down through the history of this country. In that moment, I felt the connectedness of us all.
Thank you, Abby and Ms. La Spada, for helping to make the day truly meaningful. Please sign my name. I am proud to live in the land of the free. -- TERESA ST. GEORGE, WENATCHEE, WASH.
DEAR TERESA: I'm sure Carmella La Spada will be as pleased as I am to know her letter spurred you to action. And I hope your letter reminds everyone who sees it how fortunate we are to live in this great country. The freedoms we enjoy today are the result of great personal sacrifice, and we must never forget it.