US commemorates 9/11; thousands expected at ground zero

NEW YORK (AP) - While the U.S. contends with the destruction caused by two ferocious hurricanes in three weeks, Americans also are marking the 16th anniversary of one of the nation's most scarring days.

Thousands of 9/11 victims' relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected to gather Monday at the World Trade Center to remember the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

Observances also are planned at the Pentagon and the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001.

Republican President Donald Trump, a native New Yorker, is observing the anniversary for the first time as the nation's leader. The White House says he'll observe a moment of silence and also participate in an observance at the Pentagon.

There were moving moments locally, in O`Fallon, Missouri as leaders held the city`s annual 9/11 remembrance. O`Fallon has a 9/11 memorial just outside of city hall and that is where the ceremony took place this morning.

Many came to remember the victims of 9/11 and the first responders who sacrificed their own lives on that fateful day to help save others. The ceremony started at 8:30 a.m.and lasted for about 30 minutes.

Taps was played, patriotic songs were sung and a wreath was put at the memorial. There was also a rifle salute and a timeline of 9/11 events was read.

As the ceremony ended, people laid flowers at the base of the memorial.

O`Fallon`s memorial is called 'A Tribute to First Responders.' Remembering what the first responders did on that day was a real focus of the event.

There were also prayers offered at the ceremony.

Many people there saying that they still remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when that fateful day unfolded 16 years ago today.