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President Obama is marking his first anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks since his election with a national call to public service, a wreath-laying and a solemn moment of silence.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama gathered with about 200 White House staffers on the South Lawn at 8:46 a.m. Friday, precisely eight years after the first of two hijacked jetliners struck the World Trade Center to launch the worst terror attack ever on U.S. soil.

A bell rang three times, then they bowed their heads, placing hands over hearts as a bugler played taps.

On a cold and rainy morning that stood in stark contrast to the bright sunshine on the day of the attacks, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement recalling “a day of sorrow and tragedy, but also a day of heroism and unity.”

“Threats to the United States and our allies abroad are persistent and evolving,” Napolitano said. ” . . . Together, we must build a culture of resiliency and guard against complacency, so we are better prepared for terrorist attacks or disasters of any kind.”

The Obamas were to lay a wreath in Arlington later in the morning, at the year-old memorial to those who died when a third captured jet was flown into the Pentagon.

Read more here.