WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton welcomed the new millennium today by invoking a hope for ``the triumph of peace and harmony'' in America and beyond.

Even has he greeted the 21st century, Clinton had warm words for the expiring one. Invoking the memory of one of the century's towering figures, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Clinton proclaimed, ``Let freedom ring!''

Speaking on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial moments before the National Mall erupted in a blaze of fireworks, Clinton said, ``We Americans must not fear change. Instead, let us welcome it, embrace it and create it.''