President Obama paid tribute Wednesday to the memory of those who lost their lives a dozen years ago on 9/11, and praised the survivors who have carried on in their name.
"Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away," Obama said during a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the Pentagon.
The president also praised military and diplomatic personnel who have made sacrifices over the past dozen years — and he singled out the four Americans who lost their lives a year during an attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya.
The Obama administration continues to take criticism from Republicans and others for its handling of the Benghazi attack.
All Americans who resumed their lives after the horrors of 9/11 — especially those who lost loved ones — deserve credit for helping rebuild the nation, Obama said.
"Let us have the courage … to carry on no matter how dark the night or how difficult the day," Obama said.
The president's remarks at the Pentagon came shortly after he led a moment of silence at the White House.
Bells tolled and a military bugler played taps as the president and first lady Michelle Obama, joined by members of the White House staff, stood silent on the South Lawn.
The moment of silence began at 8:46 a.m. ET, the time at which the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center building in New York City.
Vice President Biden and wife Jill also participated in the memorial ceremony.
The White House flags are at half-staff.
This afternoon, Obama participates in a service project, part of the the National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the 9/11 victims.