Trump on 9/11 anniversary: 'Our values will endure'

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump observed the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks Monday, his first presidential remembrance of the attack that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

The president, joined by the First Lady, called the occasion "extraordinary."

"Our values will endure. Our people will thrive," Trump said, speaking at the Pentagon paying tribute to those who perished there on 9/11. "Our nation will prevail and the memory of our loved ones will never, ever die."

Trump, alongside Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, spoke to America's strength in the face of hardship.

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President Trump, Melania Trump commemorate 16th anniversary of 9/11
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President Trump, Melania Trump commemorate 16th anniversary of 9/11
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the Oval Office after observing a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, flanked by White House staff, place their hands over their hearts on the South Lawn of the White House during the playing of 'Taps' at a ceremony marking the September 11 attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and wounded another 6,000. Also pictured are Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump (2nd L) and Jared Kushner (L). (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn speak before observing a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House marking the September 11 attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and wounded another 6,000. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House marking the September 11 attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and wounded another 6,000. Also pictured is Gary Cohn (L), Director of the National Economic Council. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the 9/11 observance at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump greets military personnel while attending the 9/11 observance at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump speak to family members during ceremonies marking the 16th anniversary of the 9-11 attack at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend the 9/11 observance at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Sharon and Kenneth Ambrose, parents of Dr. Paul Ambrose who died aboard American Airlines Flight 77, listen to remarks from U.S. President Donald Trump during the 9/11 observance at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in the 9/11 attacks at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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"The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit but America cannot be intimidated," Trump said. "And those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle."

Prior to going to the Pentagon, the president and first lady stood stoically on the White House South Lawn, bowing their heads in honor of the moment that the first plane hit the North tower of New York's Twin Towers. White House staffers joined them on the lawn.

Vice President Mike Pence observed the solemn day in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site where United Airlines flight 93 crashed.

The 16th anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans comes as the nation weathers another week of devastating hurricanes ripping through the South. As the president held his silence, the rain and wind of Hurricane Irma continued to batter the state of Florida.

And that storm was clearly front of mind, with Trump sending prayers to those in the storm's path.

"When Americans are in need, Americans pull together, "he said, adding that "when we face hardship, we emerge closer, stronger, and more determined than ever."

Last year, Trump joined in a bipartisan 9/11 remembrance ceremony in New York City that later became a heated political moment in the 2016 presidential race. Former New York senator and then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appeared to stumble when she left the 15th annual remembrance in downtown Manhattan, a video that later made its way into Trump campaign ads and became fodder for Trump's attacks against his then-rival.

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FBI releases 9/11 investigation photos from Pentagon
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FBI releases 9/11 investigation photos from Pentagon
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