Daughters and sons of all tribes, and all nations,
born or reborn among tenants and legends -
come to Great Gotham for ages or moments,
but citizens all in the valley of towers:
You are not scattered by suicide bombers.
You are not buried in history’s dust.
You planted seeds of invincible essence
into the bedrock of our deepest wound.
You are not casualties hijacked and slain:
You are concrete, and concrete you remain.
You, our foundation, strong as the future
at dawn in the City of Hope.
Bravest, and Finest, and Pilgrims to Zero,
grappling with grief, but unbent by fatigue;
soothing the rends in our ravaged Manhattan
before we can summon the presence to scream:
You crouched in chaos for days never-ending.
You cried and clawed for a single survivor.
Your tunnels into the ash and the agony
drained dreadful tides from our streets and our souls.
Haunted by memory, and tempered by flame,
You became steel, and steel you remain:
You the new girders, strong as the future
supporting the City of Hope.
Brothers and Sisters, who come through September
anointed by tears, and instructed by mourning -
banishing fear from our vertical planet,
and snubbing despair with an elegant shrug:
You are New York for as long as forever.
You are New York with all glory before you.
You will ascend while the thugs of the moment
crawl back to the shadows, renounced, and reviled.
Great joy to be with you, and call you by name:
We are New York, and New York will remain
a hallowed safe haven; A harvest of heroes;
American City of Hope.