"Mommy, it's just a movie. It isn't real."
I don't recall her exact response but I slowly started to realize that this was real, that it had happened on purpose. I was so frightened.
As I think back on that day, and the anniversary every year since then, the question that always seems to be asked is "where were you?" But after thirteen years I think we have a more important question to ask ourselves: "Where are we now?" How far have we come? What have we learned? If it happened again today, would we react differently? Would we still come together in unity as a country and reach out in love and compassion to our neighbors? Would the words "God Bless America" still be emblazoned on so many memorials? Would we still be Americans?
Or would the race or religious group of the person that committed the crime be threatened and hated? Would we be quick to anger and slow to understand? Would we look for revenge?
I hope that as we remember today those who lost their lives on that day that we ask ourselves, "are we better today than we were then?" And if we find that the answer is "no," I pray that we take the necessary steps to become so.
God Bless America!