The Americans have looked back at the terrorist attacks of September 11 with solemn ceremonies and a presidential tribute to "the moment the United States counterattacked."
Thousands of survivors, relatives of victims, rescuers and others gathered on a foggy Tuesday in New York's memorial plaza, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood.
US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence went to the other two places where the hijacked planes crashed on September 11, 2001: a Pennsylvania field and the Pentagon.
Seventeen years after losing her husband, Margie Miller was among those who attended the ceremony in New York City.
"For me, he's here, this is my sacred place," he said before reading for an hour the names of the nearly 3,000 dead, including her husband, Joel Miller.
President and First Lady Melania Trump joined a celebration at the September 11 memorial in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Calling it "the moment the United States counterattacked," Trump said that the fallen "took control of their destiny and changed the course of history."
"They joined the immortal ranks of American heroes," he said.
Pence recalled the heroism of the service members and the civilians who repeatedly returned to the Pentagon to rescue the survivors.
The terrorists "hoped to break our spirit and failed," he said.
The commemorations of September 11 are already family rituals, centered on reading the names of the dead. But every year in ground zero, the relatives of the victims infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, inspiration and concern.
Nicholas Haros Jr., who lost Frances, his 76-year-old mother, asked officials to stop invoking September 11 for political reasons.
"Please stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as accessories in your political theater," he said.
"Their lives, sacrifices and deaths are worth much more, do not trivialize them."