"Eternal vigilance is the price of
freedom." Variations of this expression have been attributed to a number of people down through history, including Thomas Jefferson.
Since 11 September 2001, this sentiment has come to have a renewed and more immediate significance for all Americans and, indeed, for all
freedom-loving peoples around the world.
As a very young survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor and having almost lost my father to shrapnel on the morning of 7
December 1941, I experienced a deep, sad sense of deja vu on 11 September 2001. Shortly after the attack, I visited the Pentagon - a 30
minute drive from my home on Mason Neck, Virginia - to bear witness to its devastation and to
pay my respects to those who had been lost or wounded in the attack. Many others
clearly felt the same way, for I found at the base of a small hill west of the Pentagon a living memorial in the form of flags, flowers,
photographs, letters and other expressions of deep sentiment for what had happened near this site a short while before.
In coping with my own feelings about the tragedy of 9/11, I experienced a compelling need to record on film the
spontaneous outpourings of emotions also being expressed by so many as a result of the horrendous loss of life here, in New York City and
near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on that day. I was drawn again and again to the site which continued to serve as a shrine for months after the
event. It felt very strange to record something in which I was also participating.
It is my hope that the images you are about to view will serve as a reminder of the terrible price that so many have had
to pay in order that we might rekindle in ourselves the flame of freedom and its importance to our very existence.
It is also my hope that this imperfect record of the spontaneous outpourings of emotion at this ephemeral shrine will
continue to speak to the heart in a direct and personal way that might not be possible with the studied and permanent memorials to this
tragedy which will surely follow for the benefit of generations to come.