Americans are pausing to mark the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The country’s leaders and the families of the victims are taking part in solemn ceremonies in Washington, New York, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Hundreds gathered at the September 11th Memorial in lower Manhattan to remember loved ones lost in the worst terror attack in US history.

Family members read the names of nearly 3,000 people killed on this day 11 years ago.

In Washington, President and Mrs. Obama observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn.

Another moment of silence at the Pentagon to remember the 184 lives lost there .

“This is never an easy day,” said President Obama. “But it is especially difficult for all of you. The families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives, your mothers and fathers. Your husbands and wives. Your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.”

The Secretary of Defense told those gathered at the Pentagon ceremony that in trying attack America’s strength, the terrorists unleashed Americans’ spirit and will to fight for their country.

Members of Congress gathered on the Capitol steps – much like they did 11 years ago.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Vice President Biden took part it the ceremony remembering the 40 passengers and crew members who died on Flight 93.

Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney met first responders at the airport in Chicago before heading to Reno to speak to members of the National Guard. Both Mitt Romney and President Obama put their negative campaign ads on hold in observance of the day.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News