This year is different.

This year I’m a mother.

This year 9/11 means even more.

I will never forget. I’ve said that many times today as I heard Alicia Key’s “The Streets of New York” playing, watched 9/11 remembrance videos and saw flags flying at half-mast. But not only will I not forget…I will witness to my son about what happened that day 10 years ago.

I was a Senior in high school walking to class when someone mentioned that a plane had crashed in to the World Trade Center. At that time everyone thought it was an accident and I don’t think any of us kids really understood the impact of what was taking place. Sometime during class I went to the library and there gathered around the television was the librarian and a couple other faculty members. They were just silent, some with their hands over their mouths as they watched the event unfold. We watched on live television as the second plane impacted the South Tower. Only then did I realize the gravity of what was taking place. That day was kind of blurry. I remember everyone talking constantly about it and trying to tell the latest updates they had heard. In between classes, lunch and during yearbook class many of us were glued to the television.

Images of the men walking through the streets in their suits covered in ash, the crumbling buildings and knowing how many people were in those buildings still overwhelms me today.

But today I’m thinking about an aspect that leaves a tightness in my chest – the mothers. The mothers who lost their children in those buildings, the mothers who had to tell their children their daddies weren’t coming home, the mothers who were lost in their offices, and yes, even the mothers of the people who hijacked those planes.

Throughout today I’ve looked at my son thinking that one day I’m going to need to tell him about 9/11. But how will I explain this day to him? How do you explain what a terrorist is? How do I teach him about what this day meant in our history? But most of all how do I answer the hardest question of all, “Why?” Why did these people do this?

One day that day will come.

One day I will pray that God gives me the right words.

One day I will teach him to pray for those we lost.

One day I will teach him to be proud to be an American.

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