At a solemn ceremony, President Barack Obama observed the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon which claimed the lives of 184 individuals. The ceremony at the Pentagon was mostly private, attended by family members of victims of the attack, first responders and senior military and government officials. The public was allowed to view the memorial following the ceremony. Observances got underway in the D.C. area at dawn with the unfurling of an American flag down the side of the Pentagon. The tradition began Sept. 12, 2001, when firefighters unexpectedly got onto the building’s roof and draped a large flag across the damaged building, a symbol of America’s resolve. The commemoration service began at 9:30 a.m., hosted by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. President Obama spoke following the playing of “Taps” and a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m., the moment an airliner hit the Pentagon. The president offered words of comfort to the families, telling them, “Your love is the ultimate rebuke to the hatred of those who attacked us.”
View our photos of the Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon by clicking on the photo icons below.