The nearly 3,000 victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks on America left "a void that will never be filled," former President Donald Trump said on the 22nd anniversary of "those monstrous attacks."
"The images of dark plumes of smoke billowing over Lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and a field of Pennsylvania—such a beautiful field—are seared into our minds forever."
Pausing to reflect on the tragedy amid his third run for office, the former president said solemnly, "We will never forget," an oft-repeated phrase that he and others have used to refer to 9/11, when hijackers crashed passenger airliners at those three U.S. sites.
When a newscaster asked the New York business mogul what he thought people should do after such a devastating assault on the nation, he responded: "I guess the big thing that you will really have to do is never forget."
As a businessman, the future U.S. president also noted that, for years, he had a view of the World Trade Center from his office window, but that changed on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I saw this huge explosion ... and now I'm looking at absolutely nothing. It's just gone," he said during the 2001 TV interview.
He said he recognized the gravity of the situation, stating: "Maybe the world is going to be changing."
During his latest remarks on Truth Social, President Trump said: "We remember the 2,977 precious souls who were savagely taken from us.
"We will say a prayer for each of the beautiful families they left behind, whose pain is beyond comprehension; what they've gone through is not even believable."
In New York, 2,753 people died in the attacks, including 343 firefighters.
The former president also said the nation is paying tribute to the firefighters and law enforcement officers who responded to all three sites, as well as those who came from "all over the country" to help.
"They acted with supreme heroism and they went to the site of the most heinous crime ... [and many] gave their lives in the line of duty," he said.
"God bless the memory of all of those who perished in the 9/11 attacks. We will never, ever forget. We will never forget you. We love you. God bless their families and God bless America."
On Sept. 11, commemorations were held at all three crash sites and at many other locations.
First Lady Jill Biden laid a wreath at the Pentagon 9/11 memorial site.
In Pennsylvania, bells tolled as people remembered the brave airline passengers who attacked the hijackers, foiling their plans but ending in a crash nevertheless.
"The passengers who fought back are credited with averting more deaths on 9/11."
The 650-pound bell was forged months after the attacks, which killed people from dozens of countries including 67 victims from the UK, The Independent newspaper reported.
"For those of us who lost people on that day, that day is still happening. Everybody else moves on. And you find a way to go forward, but that day is always happening for you," Edward Edelman told The Associated Press as he arrived at ground zero, the former World Trade Center site, to honor his slain brother-in-law, Daniel McGinley.
Vice President Kamala Harris and other dignitaries attended a ceremony on the National September 11 Memorial Plaza.
President Joe Biden participated in a commemoration at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska, as he headed back to Washington from a trip to India and Vietnam.
But The Associated Press described President Biden's tribute in Alaska, about 4,200 miles away from Washington, as "a reminder that the impact of 9/11 was felt in every corner of the nation, however remote."