Lauren's Garden is a tribute to Lauren Catuzzi and all victims of September 11, 2001. More than a decade later, this day comes and goes no easier for Lauren's father.
"Obviously 9/11 brings to my mind now the need to remember," said Lawrence Catuzzi.
His daughter Lauren died this day 11 years ago. She was the only Houstonian aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when it went down near Shakesville, Pennsylvania. Lauren was born and raised in Houston. She was 38 years old and three months pregnant at time of her death.
"This memorial is more than Lauren's Garden. This memorial is for all of the victims of 9/11," said Lawrence.
The garden situated in downtown's Market Square Park is a living memorial dedicated to a woman who, her father says, loved the outdoors.
"I thank you and I thank God for giving us this gift," said Harris Co. Precinct 1 Commissioner El Franco Lee.
At a public gathering, elected officials and citizens joined to remember the events and the heroes of September 11th.
"Remember what it felt like, how it brought us together as Americans, united, one people," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
But they also came together to remember Lauren's spirit which, in this downtown Houston park, is very much alive.
"This memorial is a place of life, every day. Where kids come to play, where families come to walk their dogs, people come to eat and enjoy music and enjoy life," said Lawrence. "I talk to Lauren every day, just a little whisper here or there."
Members of the Houston Grand Opera performed musical selections from "Pieces of 9/11," written in honor of all victims, including Lauren Catuzzi.
In honor of the first responders who died on 9/11, several Houston Astros toured Houston fire stations, thanking firefighters for putting their lives on the line.
"Just to show the appreciation for what they do every day," said Astro Brian Bogusevic.
At Station 19, the flag remains lowered. A picture of Ground Zero reminds firefighters of their brothers and sisters who died trying to save others.
"It still, 11 years later, makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up," said HFD Captain Rick Baker.
Several other ceremonies honor the memories of those lost:
The mayor will also participate in pre-game ceremony at the Astros Heroes Night at Minute Maid Park at 6:30pm.
The firehouse visits this morning will take place prior to Astros Heroes Night at Minute Maid Park, which will commemorate the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Heroes Night honors area first responders and military personnel and gives fans and players an opportunity to thank Houston's public servants for their dedication to protecting others.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6378 and its Ladies Auxiliary held a 9/11 Rememberance Ceremony at 10am at the Dickinson Cemetery, including a dedication of a new flagpole.