DEAR ABBY: The Nazis killed my aunt not long before I was inducted into the service in 1945. My father's last days at age 94 (some 45 years later) were consumed by that terrible occurrence.
Just today I watched a television talk show where a vocal minority made some very convincing comments against our involvement in the war against Iraq. Although I would not wish to silence that group's warnings, because I, too, felt uneasy about our entering yet another war, I'm enclosing a gem of a piece that appeared in your column. Please print it again. It is timeless. - ERIC SCHOENHAAR, GREELEY, COLO.DEAR ERIC: That "gem of a piece" has appeared in my column several times, and I agree, it is indeed timeless. And it's also timely.
It was written by the Rev. Martin Niemoeller, a German Lutheran pastor who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1938. He was sent to Dachau concentration camp where he remained until he was freed by the Allied forces in 1945. It was titled "I Didn't Speak Up" - and here it is:
"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."
DEAR ABBY: The man I love is 73. I am 47. "Irving" and I have known each other for many years, and there is no doubt about our love for each other. We get along very well, have a great deal in common and our sex life is great! The problem: I would like to get married, but Irving doesn't want to marry me. He says he's afraid that one day he'll be a sick old man and I will have to take care of him.
His wife died two years ago after a very long illness through which he nursed her devotedly, and he doesn't want me to have to go through the same thing with him. I try to tell him that growing old does not necessarily mean getting sick and becoming a burden.
I want to marry this man and enjoy whatever time we have left together. What words of wisdom do you have to help me convince this wonderful man that we must live in the present, take our chances and hope for the best? - IN LOVE WITH IRVING
DEAR IN LOVE: Your own words of wisdom sound pretty good to me. None of us has a contract with God, and it's just as well that we don't know what the future holds. Think positive, take good care of yourselves - and each other - and hope for the best.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in June. We plan to have a dinner party for our family and friends.
We want to state in our invitations that we do not want any presents. To the best of my recollection, you had something in your column that said this very nicely. We would be more than grateful if you would give us the wording. - ANONYMOUS, PLEASE
DEAR ANONYMOUS: To your invitation add: "No gifts, please. Your presence will be our cherished gift, and we respectfully request no other."
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