This year, I would like to take a moment to remember the people who died or lost loved ones that day.
I am wearing black and having dinner with my mother tonight. Today is always a sobering day to be a New Yorker.
But today, there was live music in Times Square, and children going to school, and people going to work, and bluegrass musicians in Grand Central. Today is not only a day to remember but a day to think about how we move forward, beyond the kind of hate that ignited these attacks and toward the kind of love that will protect ourselves, our country, and our world.
In spite of all the problems in this country right now, I still believe that I live in the land of Opportunity. I still believe that I can be who I want to be and do what I want to do and the only barrier to that is not the economy or the attitudes of others, but myself.
On September 11, 2001, a friend of mine sent me the lines to Shelley's Ozymandias:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
I would like to propose that it is time to move on to another piece of Shelley's work:
The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam,
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
Against the morning star.
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.
A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
And loves, and weeps, and dies.
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.
Oh, write no more the tale of Troy,
If earth Death's scroll must be!
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
Which dawns upon the free:
Altho' a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
The splendor of its prime;
And leave, if naught so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven can give.
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.
Oh, cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
Of bitter prophecy.
The world is weary of the past,
Oh, might it die or rest at last!