AUSTIN (KXAN) - Jason Walker was in his office at the Texas State Cemetery on September 11th, 2001.
"I just always remember the day," he said. "It was just a day that was surreal."
Walker is the Research Director for the cemetery and knows the history of every headstone. But the tall pieces of twisted steel in the center of the cemetery, in the shadow of the U.S. flag, make him puff up with pride.
"It's definitely something to be proud of that Governor Perry chose to have the monument here in the State Cemetery," said Walker.
On the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks, Perry commissioned the memorial and it was dedicated on September 11, 2003. The final design, an ascending semi circle of Texas granite that surrounds two pieces of steel salvaged from Ground Zero, was designed by O'Connell, Robertson and Associates of Austin and chosen by the Governor's Office and the Texas State Cemetery Committee.
"They stand upright right next to one another to represent the towers," said Walker. "They were a part of one of the buildings- we're not exactly sure which building they came from but they did come from Ground Zero."
The steel columns have not been altered in any way since they were removed from Ground Zero and still show the scars from the intense heat that caused the World Trade Towers to collapse.
Inside the memorial, visitors can see the Texas flag from any place they sit or stand, a reminder, Walker said, of the Texans who have lost their lives. The memorial is circular and on the granite walls, tells the story of what happened that day, in sequence. The times the planes hit the World Trade Towers are etched in the granite along with the flight numbers.
"And then it goes to the Pentagon and then to Pennsylvania and then it ends the day when President Bush addressed the nation for the first time that night," said Walker. "Hopefully this is a reminder of that day and really a reminder to always stay vigilant," he said.
On the 10th anniversary of September 11th, the Texas State Cemetery will be open extended hours so people can visit the memorial and honor the lives lost. There will be no formal ceremony, but instead, quiet, personal reflections. Cemetery staff will be on site from sun up to sun down on Sunday.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.