Leading his first commemoration of the 9/11 anniversary, US President Donald Trump said Monday that "the living, breathing soul of America wept with grief" for each of the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost on that day 16 years ago.
Addressing an audience at the Pentagon, one of three crash sites on Sept. 11, 2001, Trump used the anniversary to warn terrorists that "America cannot be intimidated."
He said those who try are destined to join "the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle."
Trump and first lady Melania Trump observed a moment of silence at the White House Monday at the exact moment that a hijacked airplane was slammed into the World Trade Center.
The Trumps bowed their heads and placed their hands over their hearts as "Taps" rang out across the South Lawn.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed when Al-Qaeda hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon building and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Trump, a native New Yorker who was in the city on 9/11, said the attack was worse than the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor during World War II because it targeted civilians, "innocent men, women, and children whose lives were taken so needlessly." He vowed that such an attack would never be repeated.
"The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit," Trump said later at the Pentagon, where he was joined at a 9/11 observance by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team