Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, when we remembered the innocents who lost their lives so tragically that day. Let us also realize that the best way to honor the loss of innocent life on one day is to remember the taking of innocent life on all days, and not just here but everywhere, and to work toward a future without terrorism, war, the terror of war and the “war on terror.” “I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for conquer’d and slain persons,” says Walt Whitman in “Song of Myself.” My colleague Elliot Colla reminded me of this Walt Whitman poem, and it’s worth posting today:
I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name!
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient;
I see that the word of my city is that word up there,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, with tall and wonderful spires,
Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships—an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,