Trump hails 'brave patriots' aboard Pennsylvania 9/11 flight

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday remembered the "band of brave patriots" aboard a Sept. 11 flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, praising passengers and crew members who resisted hijackers and sent a message that the nation would "never, ever submit to tyranny."

Trump honored those killed 17 years ago at a rural field where the fourth airliner of the day crashed after those aboard realized what was happening and several passengers tried to storm the cockpit. The president praised those who "took control of their destiny and changed the course of history."

"A piece of America's heart is buried on these grounds, but in its place has grown a new resolve to live our lives with the same grace and courage as the heroes of Flight 93," Trump said. "This field is now a monument to American defiance. This memorial is now a message to the world: America will never, ever submit to tyranny."

Trump listened as the names of the 40 victims were read aloud, followed by the tolling of bells. He was joined in remembrances by his wife, first lady Melania Trump, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and former Gov. Mark Schweiker, who was the state's lieutenant governor on 9/11.

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9/11/2001: 14 most iconic images of 9/11
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9/11/2001: 14 most iconic images of 9/11
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: (FILE PHOTO) A fiery blasts rocks the south tower of the World Trade Center as the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the building September 11, 2001 in New York City. Almost two years after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, the New York Port Authority is releasing transcripts on August 28, 2003 of emergency calls made from inside the twin towers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Sarasota, UNITED STATES: TO GO WITH AFP STORY 'Americans mark 9/11 anniversary with new questions on vulnerability' - (FILES) US President George W. Bush has his early morning school reading event interupted by his Chief of Staff Andrew Card (L) shortly after news of the New York City airplane crashes was available in Sarasota, Florida 11 September 2001. AFP Photo Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Americans mark 9/11 anniversary with new questions on vulnerability' - This 11 September 2001 file photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York. Borders was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area. The woman was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
New York, UNITED STATES: TO GO WITH AFP STORY 'Americans mark 9/11 anniversary with new questions on vulnerability' - (FILES) The rubble of the World Trade Center smoulders following a terrorist attack 11 September 2001 in New York. Americans mark the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks Sunday nagged by new burning questions about their readiness to confront a major disaster after the debacle of Hurricane Katrina. AFP PHOTO/Alex Fuchs (Photo credit should read ALEX FUCHS/AFP/Getty Images)
394471 13: Firefighter Tony James cries while attending the funeral service for New York Fire Department Chaplain Rev. Mychal Judge, in front of the St. Francis of Assisi Church September 15, 2001 in New York City. Judge died while giving the last rites to a fireman in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The World Trade Center was destroyed after both the landmark towers were struck by two hijacked planes in an alleged terrorist attack on September 11. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: The 'Tribute in Light' memorial as seen from Bayonne, New Jersey, consists of two shafts of light to represent the World Trade Center Twin Towers, is tested before the fifth anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks September 8, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Sylwia Kapuscinski/Getty Images)

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 3: A wax replica of Thomas Franklin's photograph from September 11, is seen at Madame Tussaud's wax museum September 3, 2002 in New York City. The replica is to be part of an exhibit at the museum called 'Hope: Humanity and Heroism.' (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Nearly 3,000 people died that day when other airplanes were flown into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an attack planned by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 during a U.S. military operation ordered by President Barack Obama.

Trump, a New York native, made his first visit as president to the Shanksville site and paid tribute to the Americans who died that day.

He said the site marks the "moment when America fought back," and said the Sept. 11 anniversary recalls the day "a band of brave patriots turned the tide on our nation's enemies and joined the immortal ranks of American heroes."

Earlier in the morning, Trump sent out a series of tweets marking the date, including praise for his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was New York's mayor at the time. He also tweeted quotes from Fox News about a series of his familiar grievances, including the Russia probe and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Trump observed the solemn anniversary for the first time as president last year. He and the first lady led a moment of silence at the White House accompanied by aides and administration officials marking the time that hijackers flew the first of two airplanes into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers.

The president also participated in the Pentagon's Sept. 11 observance last year. Vice President Mike Pence represented the administration there on Tuesday.

Trump was in his Trump Tower penthouse, 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the World Trade Center, during the 2001 attacks. He has a mixed history with Sept. 11, often using the terrorist strikes to praise the response of New Yorkers to the attack but also making unsubstantiated claims about what he did and saw that day. He has also accused fellow Republican George W. Bush, who was president on Sept. 11, of failing to keep Americans safe.

Trump has said 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. There is no evidence in news archives of mass celebrations there by Muslims.

Trump also said he lost "hundreds of friends" in the attack on New York City. He has not provided any names but has mentioned knowing a Roman Catholic priest who died while serving as a chaplain to the city's fire department.

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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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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

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