America Weeps

photographed by Bronston Jones

In the days after September 11 the city became covered in missing person fliers. Soon it rained-- the ink began to run, the colors began to fade, and the paper began to tear. Bronston saw this flier on his first day in New York.

This photograph of the flag 'crying' as an unidentifiable young man's face washes away has become a compelling symbol of America's grief. Many visitors to the exhibit have compared this image to Arlington's 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.' The man in the flier has come to represent all we lost.

As much as this image represents grief and mourning, this flier has also come to represent hope. Each of the fliers was a sign of hope. Each of the families hoped with all their heart that someone would recognize the face in the picture as someone they saw on the street. This family's hope was realized-- they found their son.

About a week after this photograph was taken, the young man was found alive and well. Because of the difficulties communicating in and out of the city, his family could not contact their son.. After a week with no word, his father traveled to New York to report him missing. Days later, a reporter ran his picture in the newspaper, a policeman recognized him on the street, and they contacted his father. Their hopes were realized.

This is the only flier in this exhibit where this is the case.




copyright 2001, bronston jones, all rights reserved