Obama leads staff in 9/11 moment of silence

President Obama led the White House staff in a moment of silence Thursday morning to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

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The president, wearing a dark suit and blue tie, strode onto the White House south lawn at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time — marking the time that the first passenger plane slammed into the World Trade Center. He was joined by first lady Michelle Obama, in a black patterned dress, and Vice President Biden.

Dozens of White House staffers, including top presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and domestic policy adviser Cecilia Muñoz joined the president, who bowed his head during the moment of silence. The trio then placed their hands over their hearts as a military bugler played “Taps.”

The brief ceremony was the first of several events the president will participate in Thursday to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. 

Later Thursday morning, the president is expected to speak at the Pentagon’s annual 9/11 observance ceremony. In those remarks, the president might again detail his strategy to confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In a prime-time address Wednesday evening, Obama repeatedly invoked 9/11, as he vowed to “remain vigilant” against emerging terror networks.

“We continue to face a terrorist threat,” Obama said. “We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today.”

In the afternoon, the president is planning to participate in a volunteer project as part of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.