U.S. President Donald Trump has observed a moment of silence at a White House ceremony marking the 16th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed when hijackers flew four commercial airliners into the New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania.
Trump, who is presiding over his first September 11 commemoration while in office, and his wife Melania observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. local time to mark the moment when the first airliner struck the World Trade Center.
A moment of silence was also held at the Ground Zero memorial, near the site of the rebuilt World Trade Center, where victims' relatives began reading the names of the dead.
The president was also scheduled to pay his respects at a Pentagon ceremony, while Vice President Mike Pence was set to attend a ceremony near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"Our hearts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones to terrorism," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. "We remain committed to stopping those extremists who plot, enable, and carry out attacks on the innocent.”
Ahead of the anniversary, Trump declared September 8 through September 10 as "Days of Prayer and Remembrance” and September 11 as "Patriot Day."
The 9/11 attacks, the deadliest terror strike on U.S. soil, led to the United States invading Afghanistan, and later Iraq.