Welcoming The New Century

on their way to school
the children cross the street
a light-skinned child
a dark-skinned child
a common familiar smile

an African child, bright-eyed under dark lashes
a Chinese child with a broad smile
a Vietnamese child
an Iranian child
European children recently arrived
from their former homelands

gentle hands
leading a comely Russian child

o, dear children!
the world today
is to be loved
the future is bright
in front of you
a school amidst the hilltops
a new flag waves to the new century
the colors of beauty
fanning peace in all four directions

o, dear children
welcome the new country
welcome the new glory
welcome the new homeland
of all humanity
The Star-Spangled Banner waves
forever in the season of peace

shine brightly on
through a blue millennium


Written for the 21st Century
Translated by Joseph Dovinh

by Phan Lac Giang Dong

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