Lessons their kids will learn from 9/11

Ribbons of remembrance are viewed on the iron Ribbons of remembrance are viewed on the iron fence outside of St. Paul’s Chapel on the morning of September 11, 2001. (Sept. 11, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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In the crowds inching along Broadway by St. Paul's Chapel, were parents pushing strollers with only a vague idea of what they would tell their children about this day.

Vanessa Smolen, 36, a Tequesta, Fla. firefighter pushed her 3-month-old daughter Mia. She said her station house has a monument to the firefighters killed on 9/11. It includes a piece of the World Trade Center.

"I'll try to teach her about what happened," she said, but was speechless when asked what she would say if Mia asked why it happened. "It's something that can't be explained," she said.

Joshua Baron, 38, of Manhattan, pushed a stroller holding his daughter, Marigold. He had been out of town on 9/11. "I came back the day after. I can still remember the smell of the dust."

"I'll tell her about what we New Yorkers went through."

I'll use it as an opportunity to teach her about intolerance and hatred."