DEAR ABBY: Today, Memorial Day, Americans wherever they may be are asked to pause for one minute in remembrance and respect for those who have given their lives in service to our country from the Revolutionary War to the present. Everyone is invited to participate in this National Moment of Remembrance, which has been established by Congress.

For this moment, we connect with one identity as Americans. Our hope is that this shared remembrance will unify a fragmented society. We need to reclaim this national holiday as a day to honor and remember those young men and women who have left us too soon. They were among our country’s very best.

Abby, your patriotism and that of your millions of readers has helped, and continues to help us unite our great country in commemorating our fallen heroes on Memorial Day. We mourn their deaths, but let us be grateful that such heroes have lived. With heartfelt thanks … CARMELLA LA SPADA, DIRECTOR, COMMISSION ON REMEMBRANCE

DEAR CARMELLA: Thank you for your beautiful letter. My readers and I thank you for the heartfelt reminder.

DEAR ABBY: I’m 39 and divorced. I have been seeing “Jesse” for about three years. He’s kind, helpful, and I enjoy spending time with him. However, Jesse has said many times that he won’t marry me or even live with me. He is 17 years older than I am, and has mentioned that I should be with someone my own age.

I think Jesse is secretly afraid I won’t want to be with him as he ages. It’s not true. I love him and treasure every moment I can spend with him. Due to a medical condition, our relationship is strictly platonic, but I don’t miss sex that much. It’s more important for me to be with someone who is kind and thoughtful.

My friends say I should dump him, and I should be with someone who is willing to make a commitment. I love Jesse, but I don’t get to see him very often anymore, and I’d like more from our relationship. I don’t need “happily ever after,” but I would like a little commitment. – STILL HERE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR STILL HERE: If you want commitment, you will have to find it with someone else. Jesse appears to be happy with his life – and your relationship – just as it is. Please listen to your friends because the more you pressure this man, the less I predict you will see of him.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter was invited to a 6-year-old’s birthday party at a sports event. We were asked to RSVP by a certain date, which I did. On the day of the party, my daughter got sick, so I called the mother to let her know that my daughter would not be coming. The mother said, “OK, just give me $15 for her ticket tomorrow.” The tickets were part of a birthday package, which I would not have had to pay for if she were attending. If siblings of any of the guests arrived, one of them could have used her ticket.

Also, I checked with the box office and the mother is charging me $5 more than the face value of the ticket! How should I handle this? – MIFFED IN AIKEN, S.C.

DEAR MIFFED: Send “the mother” $10 along with a sweet note, explaining that in the “excitement of preparing for the party” she must have confused the cost of the ticket – because you checked with the box office and that’s what you were told. (I wonder if you were being asked to also reimburse her for the cost of one slice of the birthday cake …)

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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