By Olivier Knox,
The mournful tones of “Taps” were heard on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama led America in a silent tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Obamas walked somberly out of the residence of the White House and, flanked by hundreds of staff, bowed their heads at 8:46 a.m.—11 years after American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center..
“This is never an easy day,” the president told an audience of active-duty service members, families of those killed and others, speaking at a ceremony held at the Pentagon.
“But it is especially difficult for all of you, the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives—your mothers and fathers, your husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon,” he said.
“As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are. No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for. Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly without wavering to the hope that we confess,” he said.