Defense Secretary Jim Mattis praised the spirit and resolve of the American people on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, saying Americans are neither "made of cotton candy" nor "seaweed drifting in the current."

"Maniacs disguised in false religious garb thought by hurting us they could scare us that day," Mattis said during a ceremony at the Pentagon observing the 9/11 terror attacks. "But we Americans are not made of cotton candy, we are not seaweed drifting in the current, we are not intimidated by our enemies, and Mr. President, your military does not scare."

Mattis, service members and families of those killed 16 years ago joined President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the ceremony honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

A hijacked plane crashed into the west side of the Pentagon on Sept. 11, killing 184 people.

"In the aftermath of the attack our service members, our nation rallied together as one, for while we had never asked for this fight, we are steadfastly committed to seeing it through as President Trump has made abundantly clear," Mattis said.