Washington – Thousands gathered in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania to mark the anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks Monday.
Sixteen years ago Islamic terrorists hijacked airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They crashed a third plane in a Pennsylvania field when passengers tried to retake control.
"The horror and anguish of that dark day was seared into our national memory forever," said President Trump.
Trump observed a moment of silence at the White House in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed.
He and first lady Melania Trump also paid their respects at a Pentagon ceremony led by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis along with Gen. Joseph Dunfort, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We know that not a single day goes by when you don't think about the loved ones stolen from your life," said President Trump. "Today our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago."
President Trump, a native New Yorker, is observing the anniversary for the first time as the nation's leader.
The president and first lady observed a moment of silence at about the time the first airplane hit.
He often lauds the bravery of New York police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders who rushed to the Twin Towers, in some cases knowing they probably wouldn't make it out alive. Trump was in New York during the 2001 attacks.
Vice President Mike Pence appeared at a remembrance ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The observances come as Trump secures funds to help with relief efforts following the death and destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.