Seventeen years out from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the nation comes together Tuesday to mourn and remember a day that changed history.
The country watched in horror as hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The attack killed 2,996 people, making it the deadliest foreign attack ever on U.S. soil.
Ceremonies begin in New York City on the 9/11 Memorial plaza at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Family members of victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks, and they have been invited to participate in this year's reading of the names.
For each of the past 16 years, Sept. 11 has been a somber day in America. It's a day to remember the terrorist attacks that happened in 2001, to honor those who lost their lives, and to celebrate the heroes who worked tirelessly to rescue as many people as possible. Whoever's president typically commemorates the occasion somehow — but this year, former President Barack Obama's tweet on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 carries a drastically different message than the one current President Donald Trump released.
"We will always remember everyone we lost on 9/11, thank the first responders who keep us safe, and honor all who defend our country and the ideals that bind us together," Obama tweeted on Tuesday morning. "There's nothing our resilience and resolve can’t overcome, and no act of terror can ever change who we are."
Trump, by contrast, tweeted eight times before noon on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The first tweet quoted a Fox News personality, repeating the claim that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The second did reference Sept. 11; he tweeted the hashtags #NeverForget and #September11th, along with a retweeted of a post from his social media director Dan Scavino. Scavino had released a photo of Trump signing a proclamation "designating 'Patriot Day 2018' to honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001, and of every hero who has given their life since that day to protect our safety & our freedom."Trump next two tweets then turned back to Fox News, mentioning former FBI official Peter Sztrok's alleged wrongdoings and claiming that Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Justice Department "would be behaving no differently than it is" if former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder was running it.
He moved back to the subject of Sept. 11 with the next tweet, where he honored a specific person who played a role on that day.
"Rudy Giuliani did a GREAT job as Mayor of NYC during the period of September 11th," Trump tweeted, complimenting his current lawyer. "His leadership, bravery and skill must never be forgotten. Rudy is a TRUE WARRIOR!"