US President Donald Trump observes silence for 9/11 victims

Jim Watson  AFP  Getty Images

Trump, joined by the First Lady Melania Trump walked onto the South Lawn and stood as bells towed.

"Those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle", he said, as a drone of jet engines carried echoes of a day half a generation ago that many Americans have vowed not to forget.

"American forces are relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies all civilized people, ensuring - and these are terrible, awful enemies, enemies like we have never seen before", he added later.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is preparing to preside over his first 9/11 commemoration in office.

It's the first time Trump will lead a September 11 commemoration ceremony as commander-in-chief. "As a nation, we pray that the love of God and the comfort of knowing that those who perished are forever remembered brings them peace and gives them courage".

Meanwhile, at Ground Zero in NY, victims' relatives marked the anniversary by reading out the names of those who died.

"These are disgusting, frightful enemies; enemies like we've never seen before", the president said during his speech at the Pentagon.

A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers tried to overpower the hijackers.

Trump said the sorrow felt over the lives lost that day had been turned into "an unstoppable resolve to achieve justice in their name".

The president later delivered remarks at the Pentagon.

"But in that hour of darkness, we all came together with renewed goal", Trump said. The country should feel grateful that Trump didn't start bragging about how the country overcame 9/11 with his Electoral College win.

United States troops are "relentlessly destroying" the terrorists wherever they may be, Trump said.

"The living, breathing soul of America wept with grief for every life taken on that day", Trump said.

Trump has made dubious claims about September 11, particularly saying when talking about Muslims that "thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, as the towers collapsed.

In all, almost 3,000 victims were killed.

Trump also claimed to have seen "thousands" of "Muslims" on "rooftops" cheering the 9/11 attacks as they went on, a claim that was never verified.

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