US commemorates 18th anniversary of 9/11
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Tributes poured in across the U.S. on Wednesday as the country recognized the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

This week marks 18 years since nearly 3,000 people were killed in coordinated attacks that struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, plunging the U.S. into war in Afghanistan and later Iraq.


President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump introduces Mariano Rivera for Medal of Freedom ceremony with Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' Trump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE hosted a ceremony at the White House that included a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks, while leaders of the House and Senate led a concurrent ceremony at the Capitol.

Video of the event at the Capitol showed lawmakers singing "God Bless America" following the moment of silence.

Flags at the White House and on federal buildings were lowered to half staff Wednesday in honor of the victims.

A remembrance ceremony in New York City also featured members of the New York Police Department and other first responders, a nod to the scores of first responders who were sickened or killed attempting to rescue victims at Ground Zero shortly after the attacks.

City officials lit up the New York skyline Tuesday night with two beams of light representing the fallen towers, an annual tribute to the landmark.

The future of such practices, however, is unclear following a New York Times report this week that found the beams of light endanger the lives of around 160,000 birds every year during the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies.

Various top administration officials also recognized the 18th anniversary of the attacks on Wednesday.

"9/11 still haunts me. Almost 20 years later, I still reflect on that day & I’m resolved that we’ve got to get counterterrorism right," Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Pence says US is 'locked and loaded' to defend allies US-Iran next moves — Déjà vu of Obama administration mistakes? MORE tweeted.