President Trump speaks at September 11 ceremony in Pennsylvania

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2018

Paying tribute to the victims, he said: "Seventeen years ago, 40 incredible men and women show the whole world no force on Earth will ever conquer the American spirit". "This field is now a monument to American defiance".

Trump, speaking at a memorial service in Pennsylvania, hailed the "American spirit" of the heroic passengers who attempted to stop the attackers before they crashed the plane into a field in Shanksville.

The names are read by victims' loved ones, some of them not yet born when the attacks happened.

Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 during a USA military operation ordered by then-president Barack Obama.

The commander-in-chief, who attended the event with his wife First Lady Melania Trump, said the bravery of those fallen heroes shows "free people are never at the mercy of evil".

"As long as this monument stands, as long as this memorial endures, fearless patriots will rise up in America's hours of need, and they too will fight back".

"Earlier this morning, Trump tweeted a simple "!7 years since September 11th" with an exclamation point. He also tweeted quotes from Fox News about a series of familiar grievances, including the Russian Federation probe and the Department of Justice. "This is my holy place", his widow said before the ceremony began a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m., the time when the trade centre was hit by the first of two terrorist-piloted planes.

Trump observed the solemn anniversary for the first time as president previous year.

"17 years since September 11!" he wrote.

"Last year, President Trump signed the largest increase in our national defense in a generation", Pence said.

On the day of the attacks, he bragged about having the tallest building in Manhattan after the World Trade Center collapsed, a comment for which Trump still faces backlash. He has also accused fellow Republican George W. Bush, who was president on September 11, of failing to keep Americans safe.

"WTC Cortlandt is more than a new subway is symbolic of New Yorkers' resolve", said Joe Lhota, head of the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There is no evidence in news archives of mass celebrations there by Muslims.

Debra Sinodinos, who lost her firefighter cousin Peter Carroll and works near the trade centre, said she tries not to let the recent attacks unnerve her. 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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