"They hoped to break our spirit, and they failed".
It was a message of defiance in the face of terrorism, delivered by a New Yorker president who has at times struggled to adopt the role of consoler in chief.
The gathering was attended by the New York City Police Department, as well as the relatives of victims, according to a report by the Associated Press.
It urges: "Never miss a chance to let those held dearest know your love for them". This memorial is now a message to the world. Vice President Mike Pence is at the Pentagon.
The al-Qaida attacks of September 11 are widely regarded as one of the biggest disasters to rock the US.
The terrorist that day crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center towers in NY and another airliner into the Pentagon.
Passengers on Flight 93 prevented terrorists from carrying out their plan to ram the plane into a target in Washington, D.C., possibly the U.S. Capitol or White House.
"We gather here", Pence said, "to ensure each succeeding generation knows the story of what happened that dark day, and understands why we must learn the lessons of 9/11 and remain ever vigilant in the defense of our nation and our people".
Neither rain nor cold kept away 9/11 mourners in Pennsylvania, where a tower of wind chimes was dedicated Sunday to the heroes of United Flight 93. That is the time when a hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center's north tower.
About 38,500 people have applied to a compensation fund, and over $3.9 billion in claims have been approved.
Two powerful light beams have lit up the lower Manhattan skyline as part of the annual Tribute in Light installation commemorating those who lost their lives on 9/11.
The recent attacks in NY, as well as terror attacks elsewhere, were on Miller's mind on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) as she arrived.
The recent attacks scare Ruben Perez, who read names at the trade centre Tuesday. She calls the progress "amazing".
Thousands of victims' relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected at Tuesday's ceremony at the World Trade Center.
Donald Trump has been branded insensitive after greeting supporters with a double fist-pump ahead of a 9/11 memorial.