North Texans remembered the September 11th terrorist attacks in a variety of ways Wednesday.
In Dallas, a Flower Mound couple got their first look at the 9/11 exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Library. For Paul and Lori norkett, that fateful day in history carries another symbolic meaning: It's also their wedding anniversary.
"There were no planes," Lori Norkett said. "The skies were so silent for three days."
Twelve years ago, the Norketts celebrated their anniversary in New York City when they decided to take a day trip to Montreal. After the attacks, their flight was grounded, so they drove back to Manhattan from Canada.
"Back then, it was before GPS, and we had the maps out and we took the country roads," Paul Norkett said. "And she asked, 'Why are we hurrying to get back?' And I told her, 'They're going to shut down the borders.'"
The Norketts relived that tragic day through the sights and sounds of the 9/11 exhibit at the Bush Library.
"Going into the room and seeing the speeches and seeing the destruction brings it all back," Lori Norkett said.
The Bush Library asks visitors to share their memories of 9/11. For the Norketts, the day they celebrate their happiest moment is the same day they remember their saddest.
In Mesquite, people got a rare opportunity to touch a piece of history — a twisted beam from one of the World Trade Center towers.
The 13 foot long, 575 pound twisted beam of steel symbolizes one of the saddest days in American history. The beam is from one of the Twin Towers destroyed 12 years ago Wednesday.
Like any American who witnessed the horror unfold, Mesquite Mayor John Monaco clearly remembers that fateful day.
"I'm an old man," the mayor said. "It's the first time in my lifetime — and I'm a veteran — that we were attacked at home."
Families converged on Mesquite's Fire Station No. 1 Wednesday to get a first hand look at the beam.
The fire station is a fitting place. After 9/11, several dozen Mesquite firefighters traveled to New York to perform funeral duties for many of the 343 firefighters who died at Ground Zero.
"Some of our firefighters, this many years later, still maintain a relationship with those firefighters up there," Monaco said.
Mesquite now owns the beam, which will eventually become part of a 9/11 memorial.