Sept. 11 - President Barack Obama observed the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, events that continue to weigh heavily over the country.
NATURAL SOUND PACKAGE -- NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: President Barack Obama laid a wreath and delivered remarks at the Pentagon on Wednesday to remember the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The attacks, in which hijacked airliners were flown into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, triggered a global fight against al Qaeda extremists and their affiliates that continues to this day. Before going to the Pentagon, the president observed a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. With first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden by his side, he stood still for a moment at 8:46 a.m., the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Just 12 hours earlier, Obama had given a nationally televised address to a war-weary nation about the possible need for military action against Syria if diplomatic initiatives fail to get Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons. At the Pentagon, the president acknowledged the decade of conflict that has followed September 11. He paid tribute to the four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, who were killed in an Islamist militant attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, last September 11. Americans remembered the 12th anniversary in memorial services across the nation, including in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and New York . U.S. service members stationed in Afghanistan also commemorated the twelfth anniversary of 9/11 at memorial services. "I can't believe it's been twelve years," said Captain James Garrett from Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan. "I remember like it was yesterday."