Charles Petzold

Home-Made Flyers

September 10, 2006
New York, NY

Almost immediately, people who couldn't get in touch with loved ones who worked in the towers started posting flyers on the phone booths and bus shelters. Whether done on the computer or a copy machine, the flyers usually had a photo and a name and an underlying tone of desperation.

People imagined, perhaps, that their mothers or husbands or daughters would have staggered dazed from the destruction, and now only needed a little reminder to find their way home. The flyers asked: Where is my mother? Where is my husband? Where is my daughter?

It wasn't long before you'd see an array of flyers on a bus shelter and know for a fact: These are all dead people. Without at all changing, the flyers stopped being pleadings for help and became a commemoration of the dead: This was my mother. This was my husband. This was my daughter.