Dear Annie: In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of tens of thousands of Americans of all races and colors and shared his dream. In honor of Dr. King, a group of dedicated Americans is building the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. This four-acre memorial will be situated on the Mall between our national memorials for Presidents Jefferson and Lincoln. It will stand for Dr. King's ideals -- peace, equality and freedom.
The project has raised over $33 million, thanks to organizations such as General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger, The Ford Fund, Fannie Mae, Aflac, Bell South, The Marriott Foundation, AOL-Time Warner, and individuals such as hip-hop star Nelly. We need to raise another $33 million to break ground by the end of this year.
Dr. King spoke of "the fierce urgency of now." Here at the foundation, we feel that urgency as well, and ask for your help. Please ask your readers to visit www.build-thedream.org and give whatever they can. Every donation will help us make this dream a reality. Harry E. Johnson Sr., Wash., D.C.
Dear Harry Johnson: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to mention this project to our readers. Those who are interested should check your Web site or write to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation Inc., Department 211, Washington, D.C. 20055.
Dear Annie: My daughter is getting married soon, and I've always dreamed of walking my little girl down the aisle. However, my former wife says she wants to walk our daughter down the aisle with me.
I do not want to appear selfish, but is this a new trend? My ex-wife left our family to pursue another guy when my daughter was a teenager, and I am not inclined to accommodate her.
Is there a compromise? Heavyhearted in Michigan
Dear Michigan: Perhaps your ex-wife can walk her halfway while you walk her the rest of the way, or your daughter may opt to walk by herself, but this really is not your decision. Ask your daughter what she would like, and then whatever she chooses, please acquiesce. This day is not about your dreams, it's about hers, and one of them, undoubtedly, is that her parents get along at her wedding.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Frustrated in Kentucky," about children who whine and act up in stores. It reminded me of what I did when one of my children did this, demanding I buy a certain toy or piece of candy.
I would buy the requested item and pass it on to some other child (if the parent agreed) with a compliment about how well that child was behaving. If there were no other kids in the store, we'd drive to the local community drop-in center where the item would be passed on to someone who could not normally afford it.
The message was loud and clear, "You will not get rewarded for tantrums." Each of my children tried the "gimme" routine only once. They later used the same technique on their own children, and I'm happy to report that we have well-behaved, thoughtful grandchildren who are gladly received everywhere.
Some parents don't realize that giving in for the sake of peace leads to greater problems down the road. Sooner or later, those children will find themselves unwelcome in many places, and the sad thing is they won't understand why their behavior is unacceptable. Ex-Schoolteacher Grandma in British Columbia
Dear Ex-Schoolteacher: Not many parents would have the fortitude to buy candy and give it to another child, or the patience to drive the extra distance to drop it off at a community center. But your technique sounds quite effective to us, and it's a good strategy for any parent who wishes to give it a try.
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