Knowing he would hear the news from someplace else, Balderaz figured she had to tell Mason what had happened on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. In response, Mason decided he wanted to make his own tribute.
"I kept it together and I ran to the store," she said. "When I was buying the stuff, it hit me ... it was real. You have to keep that straight face in front of your kids and you have to keep that mom face because I don't want my 8-year-old living in fear."
Stunned by the loss of innocent life in Friday's massacre, children and adults around the country were moved to pay tribute to the Sandy Hook schoolchildren, teachers and administrators who lost their lives. People crafted memorials and school sports teams paid homage to lives cut short. Some offered prayers, and others promised never to forget the names of the dead.