President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended a commemoration ceremony this morning at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, marking the 16th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Prior to the ceremony, he observed a moment of silence with first lady Melania Trump at the White House. And the tactfulness, or lack of it, of many of his remarks perhaps shed light on why the president spoke with the aid of a teleprompter during his morning address from the Pentagon.
In all, four planes were hijacked by Al-Qaeda militants who used them to topple the trade center's twin towers and hit the Pentagon. "We do not waver and we will never, ever yield. As we observe Patriot Day to honor those we lost that fateful day, our resolve to never forget remains as strong as ever", said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Vice President Mike Pence is in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a separate ceremony at the location of the Flight 93 Memorial.
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The names of the 3,000 killed were read aloud at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum as bells rang out in memory of the dead.
Trump vowed that those who died did not pass in vain, telling their surviving loved ones the nation mourns with them.
The Trumps have already tackled White House traditions like the Easter Egg Roll and worldwide tours, but Monday's event marked the first solemn occasion the president and First Lady have had to lead. "Our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we faced", he continued.
The president went on further to mention the battle to eradicate terrorism our armed forces have been fighting overseas since this attack, pledging to overcome every enemy.
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During the campaign, Trump also blamed former president George W. Bush for the terror attacks, claiming Bush failed to listen to the Central Intelligence Agency.
Vice President Mike Pence represented the administration at an observance at the September 11 memorial in Shanksville.
It is the first time the native New Yorker has observed the anniversary as president.
"Maniacs disguised in false religious garb thought by hurting us they could scare us that day", Mattis said.
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Mr. Trump told families of victims of the attack that the entire nation grieved with them, saying, "The horror and anguish of that dark day were sealed into our nation's history forever". Instead, it crashed near Shanksville after the passengers took action. There is no evidence in news archives of mass celebrations there by Muslims.