Ten years after airplanes slammed into buildings and fire and smoke blanketed the sky on 9-11, bells tolled and flags fluttered across Tarrant County as Americans bowed their heads and remembered.
Mourners gathered at parks and churches, universities and fire stations Sunday to observe moments of silence, light candles, hold their children and pray.
“The victims were our fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters,” Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson told the crowd at a morning memorial service. “We remember.”
In Arlington’s Heroes Park, a memorial wreath was laid as the sad wail of bagpipes and a three-volley rifle salute filled the morning air.
Deana and Cliff Orear of Arlington, took their sons, 7, 7 and 6, to the service. As they walked to the park from their nearby home, the Orears tried to explain the terrorist attack and the importance of the 10-year anniversary to their children.
Evil people wanted to kill Americans, Deana Orear told her children, and we must remember and honor the people who died and the heroes of that awful day.
“Today is about showing our respects and remembering,” Orear said. “We want to teach our children about what happened in a way that makes sense to them.”
At the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, a new exhibit opened featuring the largest artifact in Texas from the World Trade Center, a beam that once supported three floors in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It weighs 6,500 pounds and measures 46 feet high by 6 feet wide.
Outside the Euless Fire Administration Building, mourners gathered at 7:46 a.m., when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. Sunday night, students and community members held a candlelight vigil at TCU.
Some memorials were more spontaneous.
On the grassy hills off Interstate 30 near Beach Street in Fort Worth, three young men, brothers Brandon and Jesse Lewis and their friend Edward Cardoza, waved an enormous American flag next to a small 9-11 sign carved from wood. Passers-by honked and waved.
“I remember the shock 10 years ago,” Brandon Lewis said. “As Americans, we wanted to do something to remember that day. This was the least we could do.”
At Colleyville City Hall, hundreds lit candles, sang God Bless America and watched police and firefighters re-create the image of New York City firefighters covered in dust, rubble at their feet and smoke in the air.
Holding a small white candle, Barbara Jenkins of Colleyville recalled 10 years ago. She was in New York, a block and a half from the World Trade Center, for a conference, and watched the towers collapse. Those events, and the long drive home to Texas, she said, are permanently etched into her mind.
“It changed my life,” Jenkins said. “It changed all of our lives, forever.”
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056