President Obama led White House staffers in a moment of silence on the South Lawn on Friday morning to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The president, wearing a dark suit and blue tie, walked out at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first plane struck the World Trade Center in New York City. First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' Poll shows Michelle Obama would lead in New Hampshire if she entered 2020 Democratic race Obamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards MORE, wearing a gray patterned dress and a black belt, accompanied him. 


Nearly 200 White House staffers, including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, flanked the president and first lady, who bowed their heads in a moment of silence. The first couple then placed their hands over their hearts as a Marine bugler played “Taps.”

Following the ceremony, the Obamas turned and walked back into the White House, holding hands.

The somber morning ceremony was the first of two events the president is participating in to mark the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000, making it the deadliest foreign attack on U.S. soil.

On Friday afternoon, Obama will travel to Fort Meade in Maryland, 26 miles north of the nation’s capital, where he will speak with military service members at a town hall meeting.

That will give the president the opportunity to discuss U.S. forces still serving in Afghanistan, where they are assisting the fight against the Taliban, which harbored the terrorists who carried out the attacks.

American forces are also carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, the group that orchestrated 9/11.

Vice President Biden is marking the anniversary in New York City, where he will speak at the 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride Kickoff event aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.