At 9:11 this morning, the George Bush Library unveiled a piece of the World Trade Center towers, which fell three years ago today.
The early morning ceremony featured speeches by the library's director, Dr. Doug Menarchik; Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, founder of Texas Task Force 1; Dr. P. David Romei, executive director of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley; and Mike Wright, general manager of KBTX-TV.
The Arts Council was able obtained the piece from New York. The 2,000 pound piece of steel will stay at the library until November, when Task Force 1 will store the beam. Eventually, the steel will be placed in Veterans Memorial Park as part of a 9/11 tribute.
"It was a very moving experience, and you can tell the audience felt the tortured steel and the event," said Menarchik. "They remember, and I hope it becomes a part of their history."
Members of the task force made their way to Ground Zero following the attacks, helping in the search and rescue efforts. Those in attendance at the ceremony today were honored for their service.
"I felt like I was 50 percent searcher, and probably 50 percent therapy handler," said Task Force 1 canine handler Bob Deeds, "because of the time that Kinsey would spend with the firefighters, just allowing them to come up and touch her, pet her, hug her."
"It was kind of overwhelming at first," said Mac McClendon, a rescue team manager with the task force. "We had trained, prepared to do things for months, sometimes years, and it's more like a race horse never getting a chance to race, and all of a sudden, you're put in the game."
Representative Chet Edwards was among the guests at the event.
"I think this will be a powerful reminder to Central Texans of the tragedy of the day, but also the ultimate triumph of the American spirit," he said.