President Obama on Thursday remembered the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, saying that the 13-year anniversary of the deadliest terrorist strike on U.S. soil showcased that Americans “do not give into fear” and will “always come out stronger” in the wake of national tragedy.
“Thirteen years after small and hateful minds conspired to break us, America stands tall and America stands proud,” Obama said from the Pentagon, marking the attack on the nation’s defense headquarters. “Guided by the values that sustain us, we will only grow stronger.”
Earlier Thursday, Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden held a moment of silence at the White House to mark the 13th anniversary of terrorists flying two planes into New York City’s World Trade Center. The president also paid tribute to those killed in the downed United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa.
The Sept. 11 ceremony has become an annual tradition for Obama, but this year, it came just hours after announcing a broader campaign to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.