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Trump Presides Over His First September 11 Commemoration In Office

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a 9/11 commemoration in Arlington, Virginia.

U.S. President Donald Trump has presided over his first September 11 commemoration while in office.

Sixteen years ago, 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 and first lady Melania observed a moment of silence at the White House 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 read the names of the dead.

"Our values will endure, our people will thrive, our nation will prevail, and the memory of our loved ones will never, ever die," Trump said at a Pentagon ceremony.

Vice President Mike Pence attended 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.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters