Dear Abby:

Today is Memorial Day, and I am again asking for your help in encouraging your readers to join in the National Moment of Remembrance.

All Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time, are asked to pause for a moment of reflection on Memorial Day to honor those who have died for our country.

The National Moment of Remembrance is not a ceremony. It does not replace traditional Memorial Day events. It's an act of conscience and heart, respect and appreciation. It can be a simple gesture -- such as placing your hand over your heart or ringing a bell.

This year, the White House Commission on Remembrance, with the support of the National Association for Music Education, Bugles Across America and the Getzen Instrument Co., are inviting trumpet players across the country to play "Taps" at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day for the Moment's "Echoes of Remembrance" throughout America. (Visit www.remember.gov for more information.)

The goal is to put "memorial" back into Memorial Day, because a Gallup poll indicated that only 28 percent of American citizens realize the true meaning of this holiday.

Carmella La Spada, Director

White House Commission on Remembrance

I'm pleased to pass along your message.

Readers, since our nation was founded, almost 2 million men and women have given their lives to defend the principles for which our country stands.

On this day, of all days, their noble sacrifices should be remembered and acknowledged. Please join me at 3 p.m. in giving them the heartfelt tribute they deserve.

Dear Abby:

I have three children. My oldest child is only 10. My parents remember leaving me home alone at that age, but that was 24 years ago. I feel things are too dangerous these days.

Is there an age when I can leave them home alone and know that all is okay?

Cautious Mom in Kansas

I'm sad to say that times have changed, and 10 is still too young. No child should be left alone unless he or she is big enough and sophisticated enough to fight off or elude an intruder, or handle other emergencies that might arise. If the children must be left, someone -- a teenage babysitter, for instance -- should supervise.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate