— Americans have gathered to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Solemn ceremonies have taken place near the sites of the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
With music and prayers, friends and loved ones remembered those who perished when hijacked planes hit the towers of New York's World Trade Center. They gathered at the site for what has become an annual event, reading of the names of the victims.
For some readers, emotions were still raw, 12 years after the attacks.
"You were more than just my daddy. You were by best friend and I love you more than anything. You will be in my heart always," the daughter of a 9/11 victim said after reading the name of her father.
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Jill Biden bow their heads for a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sept. 11, 2013.
In Washington, President Barack Obama paid tribute to the victims.
After a bell tolled, the president, vice president and other dignitaries on the White House lawn bowed their heads for a moment of silence.
Later, the president took part in a ceremony at the Pentagon for family members of the more than 100 people killed when a jetliner struck the U.S. military headquarters. He told the families of victims that he admired their courage.
"In the quiet moments we have spent together, and from the stories that you have shared, I am amazed at the will that you have summoned in your lives to lift yourselves up and to carry on and to live and love and laugh again," the president said. "Even more than memorials of stone and water, your lives are the greatest tribute to those that we lost, for their legacy shines on in you."
Civil War re-enactor Cpl. Robert Fuller Houston with the 3rd Regiment Infantry, lowers his head during a prayer at a ceremony, Sept. 11, 2013, marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia.
The sun reflects off the stainless steel wall of the "Empty Sky" memorial to New Jersey's victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Sept. 11, 2013, in Jersey City, N.J.
Detroit Fire Department Lt. Gerod Funderburg rings a bell during a ceremony in Detroit, Sept. 11, 2013, marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Red roses are placed next to names of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. at a memorial site during a ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of 9/11 outside Jerusalem, Sept. 11, 2013.
A man walks through the Empty Sky memorial at sunrise across from New York's Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, Sept. 11, 2013.
FDNY Firefighter Mike Bellantoni prepares a memento at the Firefighter's Memorial adjacent to the One World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2013.
Britain's Prince Harry and Prince William take part in a trade on the floor of BGC Partners as part of a 9/11 commemoration, London, Sept. 11, 2013.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attend a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial marking the 12th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2013.
A woman looks out at New York's Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center from inside the Empty Sky memorial at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, Sept. 11, 2013.
Grissel Valentin (L) and Eileen Esquilin, who both lost family members in the 9/11 attacks, embrace at the edge of the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during a ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden pause for a moment of silence on the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the South Lawn of the White House.
A woman wipes her eyes after reading the name of her brother, Bobby Hughes, as friends and relatives of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks gather at the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site, Sept. 11, 2013.
People observe a moment of silence honoring the victims of the September 11 attacks outside the World Trade Center site in New York, Sept. 11, 2013.
Navy Quartermaster Matthew Konchan of Johnstown, Pa., stands in a field of black-eyed susans as he waits to participate in a wreath laying ceremony with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell during a memorial service at the Flight 93 National Memorial, Sept. 11, 2013.
A woman touches the stone with names of the 9/11 victims at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2013.
A couple walks through the "Healing Field" at Tempe Beach Park, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The display has nearly 3,000 flags with the names of those who died in the 2001 attacks.
Two people with shirts commemorating New York City Fire Department firefighter Frankie Esposito sit at the south reflecting pool at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the attacks.
Visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial participate in a sunset ceremony with a giant flag memorializing Flight 93, Sept. 10, 2013.
Another observance was held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, killing 33 passengers and seven crew.
Participants stood near a memorial honoring the victims as the names of those who perished on the flight were read.
The plane crashed as passengers attempted to regain control from hijackers, who were believed to be flying toward Washington.
Relatives of the victims joined the National Park Service Tuesday in a groundbreaking ceremony for a visitor center at the Flight 93 Memorial.
Wednesday also is the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.