A total of 2,966 people died in the worst terror attack on USA soil when planes were flown into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an atrocity planned by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised the men and women of United Flight 93 for saving countless lives when they struggled with hijackers on september 11, 2001, and called the field where the plane went down a monument to "American defiance".
Seventeen years after losing her husband, Margie Miller came from her suburban home to join thousands of relatives, survivors, rescuers and others on a misty morning at the memorial plaza where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood. "This is my holy place", his widow said before the ceremony began a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m., the time when the trade centre was hit by the first of two terrorist-piloted planes.
The president also participated in the Pentagon's September 11 observance previous year. "They did not sit back and let events unfold before them".
The attacks of September 11, 2001 that killed almost 3,000 dead in the United States, a huge majority in NY.
President Trump is expected to make remarks at the vigil.
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Trump's somber address paid tribute to "American defiance", and asserted that the country is not defined by the attacks.
The president and his wife Melania sat solemnly as the names of all 40 passengers and crew members killed were read out close to where the Boeing 757 slammed into the ground in Shanksville, Pa.
Mr Trump was accompanied by the First lady Melania, for this moment of national unity should offer him a temporary respite in the middle of a sequence to be particularly eventful.
"No terrorist act can never change who we are", has pointed out, in a tweet, his predecessor, democrat Barack Obama. This memorial is now a message to the world: "America will never, ever submit to tyranny", Trump said as applause rang out from the audience of Flight 93 family members, dignitaries and others.
The Shanksville ceremony will include the sounds of the Tower of Voices, a 93-foot-tall concrete and steel structure featuring a wind chime for each person on board with its own distinctive sound.
Trump was in his Trump Tower penthouse, 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the World Trade Center, during the 2001 attacks.
A member of the military walks the grounds of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial before the start of the September 11th Pentagon Memorial Observance at the Pentagon on the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.