For Trudel, who has remarried and has two young sons, it is also a time to reflect on the world around her, and how she and the world have changed.
"It's a time to think back on all that has transpired in the last 10 years," she said. "I remember an outpouring of support for the U.S. after 9/11, and I can't help but wonder whether we have really taken advantage of that opportunity. I wonder whether we should be doing more to try to reach out to other people and try to resolve conflicts by diplomacy rather than other means, and whether we should be doing more to promote tolerance and understanding through education, particularly in developing countries."
While saying that, Trudel also praised the men and women in the armed forces who have made huge sacrifices for their country.
After her husband's death, Trudel donated his medical books to a university in Afghanistan. She also got involved with Greg Mortenson's foundation and other nonprofit organizations promoting education for girls and women in Afghanistan and other countries. She has traveled to West Africa on volunteer work, and earned a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
"I have tried to take that horrible event and turn it into something positive and tremendously powerful," she said.