AUSTIN -- "We will never forget." That's the rallying call around the country on this twelfth anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks.
That day in 2001 changed our world and led to this somber day around the country and here in Central Texas.
On September 11th, 2001 -- time stood still as the Twin Towers crumbled, taking thousands of lives with them. Twelve years later, the nation still mourns.
“The memory of this day will never ever go away,” said City Council Member Mike Martinez.
Martinez, firefighters, and residents gathered at the Buford Fire Tower on Lady Bird Lake to honor the 343 firefighters lost as they tried to save others.
“When people were in their most dire need, firefighters were there for them. So it's a good way to say thank you to them,” said Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr. “I think it also gives us an opportunity to reflect on where have we been in the last 12 years and what have we done to improve our safety...and what we have done to improve the safety of our community and our country.”
In San Marcos, the missing man formation moved across the sky as flags flew at half staff and first responders paused to remember their fallen comrades.
“The fire service, there's a bond; it's a brotherhood, a sisterhood,” said Assistant Fire Chief Karl Kuhlman of the San Marcos Fire Department.
“When those towers came down, you automatically, instantly knew what had happened, and it was heartbreaking.”
There's no memorial service to break the silence inside the Texas State Cemetery, where two warped, twisted pieces of steel salvaged from Ground Zero stand tall.
It's a symbol of overwhelming loss and unbendable resilience.
And for many a solemn reminder to never forget.