President Bush, joined by his wife, the vice president, Cabinet members, White House janitors, kitchen workers and groundskeepers, somberly marked the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
They all observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., Tuesday - the exact moment in 2001 when terrorists slammed the first jetliner into the World Trade Center in New York.
The president stood with first lady Laura Bush and Dick and Lynne Cheney on the South Lawn during the simple ceremony that has been repeated each year since the attack. Dressed in dark suits, the four of them bowed their heads as a member of the Honor Guard stood nearby, holding an American flag.
Bush stood sternly as the Marine band, stationed behind him on the South Portico of the White House, played "God Bless America." Mrs. Bush then took his arm and they walked inside along with the Cheneys.
To honor the memories of those killed six years ago, all members of the White House staff were allowed to join in. On the front row of one side of the crowd stood Cabinet secretaries and other dignitaries; on the other side were kitchen workers dressed in white and janitors, groundskeepers and other blue-collar workers.
Among the scores of people in the crowd was former chief of staff Andrew Card, the one who first whispered the news to Bush on the day of the attacks.
Bush did not speak. Occasionally, the rumble of jet planes taking off and landing at nearby Reagan Washington National Airport broke the silence.
On a gray, humid day in Washington, Bush began with a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square across from the White House.
The Rev. Luis Leon preached that each anniversary of Sept. 11 presents a dilemma - how to remember the day that changed the lives of everyone who lived through it, yet also move on with life. He said religious faiths have their differences, but they all strive for peace, love and justice.