WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford address the families and friends of the 9/11 victims in a ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial.
Obama said at the memorial service that he is inspired by the resilience of the victims' families. He quoted Scripture: "Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the table of your heart."
Obama also praised America's diversity and urged Americans not to let their enemies divide them. He called the day "difficult" but one that "reveals the love and faithfulness in your hearts and in the heart of our nation."
The White House says Obama observed the somber anniversary with a moment of silence in the Oval Office at 8:46 a.m. EDT. That's the time when the attacks began on that sunny day in 2001 — when a hijacked airplane slammed into the north tower of New York City's World Trade Center.
Afterward, Obama traveled to the Pentagon, where he laid a large wreath at the beginning of the memorial service.
The American flag is flying at half-staff atop the White House and other federal buildings. Obama has invited governors, interested organizations and individuals to follow suit.