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Never Forget


            Like almost everyone I know, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard that airplanes had crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon, and in the field in Pennsylvania. I also can remember the sick feeling, the anger, the astonishment, and the resolution to always remember that our country had been attacked in a cowardly fashion. 

      Everywhere in the nation there were American Flags flying proudly, the entire country came together as one, we all promised we would never forget. The 2001 patriotism was the genesis for this project for myself- I would make a photograph every September 11 at 6:46 am Mountain Time - the exact time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. 

      Since that horrible day in 2001, memories have faded for some. There are fewer American flags flying these days. Patriots are harder to find, but I have never missed my self-appointed scheduled photograph. It is a labor of love, and is too important to me for me to not create each year's image. Making the photos for this self-assignment will take the rest of my life, and long as I am physically strong enough, I will never miss a 9/11 photo. 

      Photography is usually a solitary event.  Photography with a large format view camera (which I use for the majority of these photographs) has been described as hours of patience followed by 1/2 second of activity.  While that is a bit of an exaggeration, there is a lot of time to reflect while waiting for the light to be right,  or in the case of the images presented here, for the clock to reach the appointed time of 6:46 AM Mountain Time.  During that waiting time I am able to recall the day of the attacks, to recall the events of the past year, and to consider the ongoing impact that 9/11 brings to all Americans.  Time I treasure every year.


I hope you enjoy these photographs, I hope you appreciate the effort, and I hope that you please, Never Forget.

Most Recent Never Forget Image


Monday, September 11, 2023, 6:46 AM Mountain Time


Gruernsey Dam Head Gate

Guernsey State Park, Wyoming


Linhof Master Technika 2000 Camera

Kodak TMax 100 Film

150 mm lens

6 Second Exposure at f/32 



This morning is cool and clear. It was cloudy when I left Cheyenne at 5am, and the road was wet for most of the drive here. The closer I was to Guernsey, the happier I was that it clear. The forecast earlier in the week called for rain, and last night there were flash flood and severe weather warnings for this area.


I stopped at the entrance gate and purchased the day pass, and made my way to the parking area below the dam. I was the only person around. I slipped on the backpack and picked up the tripod and headed for the steep trail up to the spot I had scouted along the spillway just below the dam. I liked the way the lines of the fence and the spillway led to the two uprights of the dam head gate. To me, those uprights felt similar to the Twin Towers – strong, bulky, and most of all, indestructible. Of course, we all know that anything man-made (other than plastic pollution) is not indestructible.


Once at the chosen photo position, I set up the camera and waited for 6:46 am.  As usual, I felt the disappointment that most Americans don’t care much about 9/11, or the lives lost and forever changed that day. Very few take time to reflect on the significance of the attacks and the aftermath. The anniversary is barely mentioned on TV or on the radio anymore. Maybe it will be remembered on the 25th anniversary, or the 50th.


I can’t forget the days after the attack, and how the country came together as one. We were all ready, willing and able to defend our nation. The American flag was flying at homes and businesses across the nation. Differences were put aside and we were one nation, indivisible. I don’t know that the patriotism we saw then will ever come back. The country is in big trouble, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone with the will or the ability to get us back on track.


At 6:46 I released the shutter, and another image was added to the project. I still feel that this project matters and my heart still aches for all of the victims and the families affected by the attack.

I still vow to Never Forget


The Never Forget Gallery, in chronological order

Wednesday, September 11, 2002  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Waterfalls near Sugarloaf Road

Snowy Range, Wyoming 

8x10 Ilford Delta 100 Film

Burke and James Camera

360 mm lens

3 Second Exposure at f/45 

      This morning is warmer than I thought it would be.  As I left Cheyenne at 4:30 AM, I saw a few flags flying, but it was really quiet.  There will be memorial services later on, but I will miss them.  I chose to venture down Sand Lake Road because I have photographed in this area before with my friend Graig Marrs, and I knew I would find a suitable subject.  When I conceived this project, I had not considered the logistics involved.   

       I like to wander and photograph what interests me, but when working to a constraint such as a particular time, like I am in this project, there is a lot of pressure to have the photograph already in your mind, and not be caught hunting for a location when the clock strikes 6:46 AM.  

     This particular lens does not have a shutter, so there were a lot of opportunities to mess this up while taking the lens cap off to expose the film or when replacing the lens cap.  The photography gods smiled on me, and the exposure was just as I had envisioned.




Thursday, September 11, 2003  6:46 AM Mountain Time


View from Lewis Lake 

 looking towards Sugarloaf Mountain

Snowy Range, Wyoming


8x10 Ilford Delta 100 Film

Burke and James Camera

360 mm lens

1 Minute Exposure at f/45 

     The morning was cold and still.  There were occasional snow flurries, and I had hopes that the snow would not obscure the scene at 6:46 AM.  The drive up the mountain was nice, with no traffic. I was all alone on this huge mountain.  Once the camera was in place, I waited for about 15 minutes and thought of how the world had changed since 9/11.  As it got closer to time to make the photograph, I could see another snow squall coming my way.  I removed the lens cap at the appointed time, not knowing if the mountain in the background would be at all visible. I could see it, sort of, so I hoped it would show up on the negative.  Once I developed the film, I was really pleased with the result.  I began to feel there must be something magical about the project and how things work out to make sure the images are successful.

      This image was when I first thought of trying to include vertical shapes like the pine trees in the front center to be mindful of the Twin Towers.





Saturday, September 11, 2004  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Aspen Trunks Along Blair Wallace Road

Laramie County, Wyoming


4x5 T-Max 100 Film

Linhof Tech V

150 mm lens

4 Second Exposure at f/16 

     Usually, Saturday morning is reserved for breakfast out.  A way to end the work week, sometimes preceded by Friday night happy hour.  This morning I chose to stay close to Cheyenne, only about a 45 minute drive to this road, and I knew there were a few beaver ponds that would offer some photographic opportunities. 

     As I turned the first few corners, I saw the aspens along the road and knew I could make an interesting photograph.  The sky was very overcast, but there was no wind. I came across this clump of trees and set up the camera.  I looked at my watch and I had a 35 minute wait until time to release the shutter.  Enough time to second guess myself many times over.  I kept thinking there may be better trees on down the road.  Eventually I convinced myself to stay with these trees and was really happy I did. 

     This area was very quiet, not even many birds at that hour of the morning.  Usually there is a lot of wind in Southeast Wyoming, but not today.  The fall air was crisp, but there was no frost.  There were patches of aspen trees that had started to turn colors, but not in the area of these trees.  A truly beautiful Wyoming morning.





Sunday, September 11, 2005  6:46 AM Mountain Time


French Creek

 Downstream from Lake Marie

Snowy Range, Wyoming


4x5 T-Max 100 Film

Linhof Tech V Camera

300 mm lens

30 Second Exposure at f/16 

     French Creek is high up in the Snowy Range, nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, and the weather is very unpredictable.  I expected snow and cold, instead it was warm (35 F) and clear.  I knew that direct sun would make any scene involving moving water nearly impossible to photograph well, so I looked for a location that I was sure would be in shadows.  I had almost finished setting up the camera for this scene when the sun rose over the mountain and half of the scene was in sun and the other half in shadow.  A disaster. 

     As I considered the options of finding another location, or changing composition, knowing that time was short, clouds began to sneak over the mountains to the west.  First just a few, but then more and more.  They were moving very fast, as mountain clouds usually do.  I began to hope that this photograph would work out after all.  Just minutes before I made this exposure, the clouds parted and the entire scene was in sun!  I fully expected this to be a complete bust. 

     Just as I metered for my final exposure calculations, a large cloud moved in and the situation was exactly as I had hoped for at the beginning of the day.  I made the exposure knowing that the photography gods had once again smiled on me and the project.

      Just minutes after I made this photograph and had put away my photography equipment, the rain came and my photograpy day was over.





Monday, September 11, 2006  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Wind Blown Tree

Laramie County, Wyoming


4x5 T-Max 100 Film

Linhof Tech V Camera

150 mm lens

2 Second Exposure at f/16

     This was a Southeast Wyoming Day!  Very cold and 40 mph winds with gusts to 70 mph. The conditions were a huge technical challenge, to say the least.  Large format view cameras are not known for their aerodynamics, and to photograph in wind like this takes some creative problem solving.  I moved my vehicle to the upwind side of where I expected the camera to be, trying to keep the vehicle as close as possible to the camera.  I also tied the camera bag to the center column of the tripod for additional stability.   

     When the meter indicated a 2 second exposure, I was sure there would be no chance of the tree being stable and in sharp focus in the image.  I also had doubt that the camera would be steady for that long.  As I waited for 6:46 AM, I noticed that when the wind was steady, the tree would lean to the right, but then would hold that position until the wind eased or a bigger gust moved it further.  I hoped for steady wind at 6:46 AM, and as luck would have it, the tree was steady.  I did make a second negative of this scene, which I had not ever done for this project, but the first negative was the better and my track record with the photography gods is intact!

     By the way, I was only 20 minutes late for work on this morning, thanks to a really strong tail wind while I was driving back to Cheyenne.  Credit the photography gods with another assist!






Tuesday, September 11, 2007  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Sky Scrapers

Denver, Colorado 

T-Max 100 Film

Hasselblad Camera

80 mm lens

1/2 Second Exposure at f/11

     I was very fortunate to be asked to be part of a conference about Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages in Denver Colorado and I accepted before I realized I would be at the conference for 9/11.  I considered withdrawing from the conference, but in the end I felt I could make my photograph at the appointed time, and still be able to get to the conference session on time.  It had been a big year since the last 9/11 photograph.  Sadam Hussein had been found, tried and hung.  The war based on lies was being called out for what it was. The government was being exposed, finally.  They took the events of 9/11 and used them as a catalyst for profiteering and bloodshed. Patriotism is turning to anger. 

     As I left the hotel and walked in downtown Denver, it occurred to me that there were people walking in New York City the morning of 9/11.  I cannot imagine the feeling they must have had when they looked up and saw the planes hit the buildings.  Cities are so enclosed and I feel trapped in the city.  It had to be pure terror! 

     When I had finished making this image, the security person from the building on the right came out and told me in no uncertain terms to leave the area.  He had called the police and my activities were suspicious.  I thought about waiting for the police to explain myself, but I did not want to be late for the conference session, so I left.  As far as I know, the Denver police are still looking for a terrorist with a camera.............






Thursday, September 11, 2008  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Lake Marie

Snowy Range, Wyoming 

4x5 T-Max 100 Film

Linhof Tech V Camera

65 mm lens

30 Second Exposure at f/22

     I really enjoy photographing in Snowy Range, and I like coming here for my 9/11 project.  The quiet and the calm are soothing and at this time of year, I am usually alone.  On this day, I could hear someone else, maybe a photographer, but never saw them.  I was sure to make enough noise that they knew I was around, as well.  This morning was better than I could have hoped for; the air was crystal clear and there was very little wind.  The temperature was just below freezing, but there was no frost. 

     I had long wanted to make this photograph, but when I had been here in the summer, there were people along the shore line.  I preferred the scene the way I found it on this day-empty.  The wide angle optics exaggerates the distances in this photograph, making it seem even larger than it really is.  The peaks are very impressive, especially when you are at the base looking up, as I am here.  It reminds me of how small I really am in the world.  We humans certainly are a small part of the organism that is our world.

     It was an incredible morning and a reminder for me of why this project is so important.





Friday, September 11, 2009  5:46 AM  Pacific Time


Horsetail Falls

Multnomah County, Oregon 

T-Max 100 Film


50 mm lens

2 Minute Exposure at f/11

      I was very concerned my project was going to end this year.  I was working at a chemical plant west of Portland, Oregon, and my supervisor made it clear that there would be no time off during this job.  After a lot of careful consideration, I decided that continuing the project was more important to me that the continued employment at that company.  When I was driving up to the job from Wyoming, I had stopped and photographed this waterfall, but I was there in the early afternoon, and the light was not good.  I decided it would be a good possibility for my 9/11 photograph this year. As I was mapping out the trip and calculating the departure time from my hotel, I remembered that 6:46 AM was Mountain Time, and I was in the Pacific Time zone.  I had to move the schedule up an hour and make the photograph at 5:46 AM Pacific Time. 

      I knew there would not be much light at that time of day, so a long exposure was obvious.  When I travel for work, I do not always take my large format cameras, I take a smaller format instead. I usually take a lighter tripod as well.  For long exposure work, heavy cameras and heavy tripod usually work best, so I would have to find a way to make my lightweight equipment do the job.  By finding a camera position that would allow the use of a wide angle lens and by weighing the tripod down with extra weights, I was able to overcome the potential problem, and made an image that pleased me.

     The early hour allowed me to get back to work less than one hour late, and I had stopped and purchased a few dozen donuts, so all was forgiven.  I made my photograph and kept my job........






Saturday, September 11, 2010  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Blair Wallace Campground

Laramie County, Wyoming 

8x10 T-Max 100 Film

Kodak Master View Camera

240 mm lens

2 Second Exposure at f/16 

     When I headed out for this year’s picture, I had an idea I would chose this location.  I remembered this campground from when I used to come up to this area with my parents and grandparents.  We fished the beaver ponds around here quite a bit.  It took some looking around to find the campground, it is back off of the road a bit, and somewhat hidden by the bushes along the creek between the campground and the road.   

     It does not show in the photograph, but the pine beetle has killed most of the trees in this area, and I would bet that in another year or two none of the trees in this picture will still be standing.  Another reminder that the world around us is always changing, and if we do not adapt, we will go the way of the majestic pine trees, destroyed by a tiny beetle barely big enough to see......






Sunday, September 11, 2011  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Twin Towers of Stone

Laramie County, Wyoming


4x5 T-Max 100 Film

Linhof Tech V Camera

150 mm lens

1/2 Second Exposure at f/16 

     This was a cool, breezy morning, and I found this photo very quickly.  I had lot of time to contemplate the year since that had passed.  Osama Bin Ladin had been killed.  The name most associated with the 9/11 cowards had been executed.  My good friend and motorcycle companion of many years seems to be very sick.  My mother had been in the hospital a couple of times for internal bleeding.  My mother-in-law had fallen and had surgery this year.  I had quit my job because the travel and schedule was impossible.  The new company I went to work for certainly had not lived up to expectations, and I still have three more months of my contract with them. A lot of change in short order. I have no comfort zone anymore. 

     And saddest of all, even the death of Bin Ladin does not bring back the flags and the patriotism.  Americans have forgotten the feeling we had after 9/11.

Please Never Forget!






Monday, September 11, 2012  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Mirror Lake and Medicine Bow Peak

Snowy Range, Wyoming 

8x10 T-Max 400 Film

Kodak Master View Camera

240 mm lens

1/4 Second Exposure at f/32 

     I am back in the beautiful Snowy Range.  It is crisp, clear and calm.  It is a gorgeous Wyoming day.  I am so blessed to be here.  I have lots of time for thinking and reflection. 

     Around Thanksgiving, my grandfather and a favorite aunt passed away.  The holidays were a lot less bright this year. My friend and a long time motorcycle riding buddy died on Mother’s Day this year.  I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with him before he passed.  In June my mother had open heart surgery and the results were not what we had hoped for.  She passed in July with my sister, my brother and me at her side.  After that, my time has been spent trying to sort through her house full of belongings and treasures and memories.  This has been the saddest time I can ever remember.  I have worked less than six months all year.  Even though my brother and sister and I have put a lot of effort into my mom's house, it seems like months of work left to do.  Today here in the mountains, all of that went away, and I was able to just think about photography and nature and the peace of being here. 

      Even through all of this horrible sadness and despair, I am a proud American! And I will Never Forget!








Wednesday, September 11, 2013  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Prairie Road

Goshen County, Wyoming


4x5 T-Max 400 Film

Linhof Tech V Camera

150 mm lens

1 Second Exposure at f/22 

      Today is cold and raining off and on.  Sometimes a downpour, other times, just a drizzle.  It is cold and wet and contributed to the meloncholy feeling.  As I had planned for this event, I had read about Flight 93, the flight that crashed in the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I had heard the Neil Young song "Let's Roll" twice the past week on the radio.  Instead of my usual trip to the mountains, this year I chose to go to the plains north and east of Cheyenne.  The rolling hills are peaceful and there are not many people around to interrupt the day.

      I set out this morning looking for an open area, and when I saw this road that went on and on into the horizon, it made me think of how things keep going on.  Through tragedies, through victories, through wars, through celebrations.  Every event is but a bump in the road of life.  The road extends to the horizon - for some that horizon is closer than it is for others. None of us knows how long that road may be.

      No wonder then, that Americans seem to forget the events of 9/11 a little more each year. That horrible day was a bump on the road.  It was a big bump.  It was a memorable bump. I read yesterday that anyone who is 15 years of age or younger this year has no memory of that horrible day. What a tragedy, but what a blessing as well.  I think everyone who can remember that day knows exactly where they were when they heard our world had changed forever. The youngsters do not remember how it was when we still had personal freedoms and the NSA spying on Americans was unthinkable. No matter, I remember how it was, and I remember that horrible day. 

     And I will not forget........






Thursday, September 11, 2014  5:46 AM Pacific Time

At The Ready

Bend Oregon

 4x5 T-Max 100 Film

Linhof Tech V Camera

210 mm lens

2 Minute Exposure at f/16 

      This scene saved this project for me. Katie and I were on the way home from one of the worst photography workshop experiences I have ever had. The workshop at Shore Acres and Bandon Oregon had not been productive. It was the first photo workshop that Katie had joined me, and it was the most disappointing I had ever attended.  I was frustrated and angry and ready to get home. 

      We left Coos Bay, Oregon at noon on September 10th and had driven as far as Bend, Oregon before stopping for the night. For the entire day of traveling, we had been looking for photographic possibilities for the 9/11 image, but had not seen anything fitting.  When I was in the hotel room, I thought that I had come to the end of the project.  I feared that I had finally succumbed to the feeling that 9/11 was in the past - no big deal any more.  These days we have Ebola, and ISIS to worry about.   That awful day becomes a more and more distant memory every year. The fact that I was even considering not making the photo, was making me more upset and more angry the longer I sat in the hotel room. Finally, I concluded I was not ready to quit.  So what if it is hard.  So what if I had to work for the image. Time to stop moping and to get busy. We got in the car and headed back to the west, along the highway we had traveled into town. As we had come into town, I had noticed a large flag at a business near the highway, and I thought if it were lighted, there may be a photography opportunity.  

      The flag idea was a complete bust.  The flag was not lighted, and from all angles the background was horrible.  It was very dark by now, and as we drove further west, there was less to see.  Finally we turned around and headed to toward the hotel. At the moment the large flag came into view on the left side of the car, something caught my attention on the right side - the lights of the fire station. The huge glass doors, the gleaming fire engines, it all fell into place. Immediately, my mind connected the dots and I was transported back to the day of 9/11 and the First Responders answering the call, even knowing the outlook was grim. Firefighters running into the smoke and ash and dirt that everyone else was running away from.  The Project is saved!

      I saw a couple of firefighters in the bay of the station, so we pulled in and parked.  I introduced myself and explained my project, and asked if I could return the next morning to make a photo at 5:46 AM. They both immediately seemed to know the significance of the time. Without hesitation they granted permission, but then qualified it with conditions- nothing difficult- just that I needed to understand that the smaller truck was most likely to be called out, with the truck in the far bay being the next most likely.  They felt it would be best to photograph aligned with the center bay, but to be ready to get out of the way quickly if there was a call. I agreed and went out to the driveway to preview the scene. When I walked in front of the middle bay, the photograph all came together.  The light range was extreme, but thanks to the John Sexton workshop I attended the past spring, I was able to manage that issue.  There were minimal camera movements required. I felt incredibly fortunate. I went back to the hotel that night feeling like the trip was worth it after all.

      When I arrived at the fire station the next morning, everything was quiet and still.  The morning was crisp and clear. A great morning for photography.  I set up the camera and had about 20 minutes to wait for 5:46 AM.  It gave me time to think about the previous eleven September 11 mornings, and the variety of locations I had photographed.  And about how the project has a mind of its own, and if I try to force it, it does not work. The fire station was very different from the other scenes I had found, but the feeling I had was the same.  My soul knew how important this was.  How meaningful this was. How easy it is to screw up an exposure using a large format camera.   The tension builds as I check and double check and triple check the camera, the meter readings, the film.

      Just before the magic moment arrives, I noticed that the light level on the building has increased  and I hurried to meter the scene one more time.  I quickly make the final adjustments, and release the shutter - photograph number 12 of this project is created. Katie and I had been traveling nearly two weeks at this point, and up until this photograph, it seemed to me that the trip was a photographic bust. Instead, it ended up being one of the best trips we have ever taken. As I packed up to leave, I could not help but know that from the first year, things have fallen into place to make these photographs special, at least to me.  I hope they are special to you as well.  But most importantly, I hope you never forget why I create them. It is truly a labor of love.

No matter what, I will continue to photograph on September 11, as long as I am able

And I will Never Forget why I do this........ 






Friday, September 11, 2014 6:46 AM Mountain Time

Grain Elevator

Chappell, Nebraska

8x10 Ilford HP5+ Film

Kodak Master View Camera

250 mm lens

½ Second Exposure at f/22 

      When I began thinking and planning for this year’s photo, I knew I would be close to home for September 11, rather than be traveling. I thought about returning to Snowy Range, because I always enjoy having time there. I also considered trying to find a scene in Northern Colorado, possibly a grasslands image.  Eventually I remembered I had seen this particular grain elevator some time ago, and the huge flag really caught my attention.

      I decided to scout the scene, to be sure the flag was still there, and to find a possible camera position.  I hopped on the motorcycle and made the nearly 300 mile (round trip) on September 9.  I was happy to find the Flag still there and looking great.

      When I was in my teens, working on my Grandfather’s farm, I used to haul wheat to this elevator, so in a way, this was a homecoming for me.  It was a beautiful morning.  Calm winds and only a few clouds. The clouds helped even the light on the elevator.

      I set up the camera and waited for 6:46, and I thought about all the families that have another anniversary to remember those who perished.  Not only in the attacks, but also in the wars that followed.  While all of us share the loss, some feel it much more than others.  The post 9/11 patriotism has not returned, maybe it never will.  It is so sad.  


I will continue to photograph on September 11, as long as I am able. 

And I will Never Forget why I do this........ 








Sunday, September 11, 2016  6:46 AM Mountain Time

Fallen Tree Rubble Pile

Happy Jack Road, Albany County Wyoming

8x10 Ilford FP4+ Film

Kodak Master View Camera

250 mm lens

3 Second Exposure at f/32 

     I had seen this fallen pine tree the week before 9/11.  I was not scouting for the 9/11 photograph for this year (I was actually on a motorcycle ride with Kate) but as soon as I saw this, I knew I would be back to photograph this pile of rubble on Sunday morning.


      The moment I saw the pile I thought of the rubble pile after the towers collapsed.  At one time this had been a mighty pine tree, withstanding fierce winds, heavy snows and lightning storms.  In the end this giant was murdered by the tiny pine beetle.  The pip squeak of the forest.  A tiny insect that is devouring the pine forest across the west. 

Very similar to the pip squeak terrorist that attacked our county. Little bugs who attack innocent souls, and thrive on the turmoil they cause.


      The rubble pile is evidence this mighty tree did not give up easily.  The pile is next to the stump.  This tree did not lay down, it stood as long as possible.  And Like the Twin Towers, when it fell, it came straight down, ending in a tangled memorial to the years it was alive.  This pile will not be hauled away, it is not destined to be divided up among countless museums. 

     This pile will go the way the terrorist ought to go.  It will remain alone on the prairie, eventually succumbing to fire, or to decay, or possibly other organisms eating it away.  Lets all hope it outlasts the terrorist.

And most of all, let us Never Forget what they have done to us and our country.






Monday, September 11, 2017  6:46 AM Mountain Time

Two Rocks and Tree

Vedauwoo, Albany County Wyoming

 4x5 TMax 100 Film

Linhof Master 2000 Camera

210 mm lens

6 Second Exposure at f/22 

     I have been around Vedauwoo my entire life.  I can remember picnics here with my family when I was very young.  Earlier this year when I was testing a camera I had built, I came across this rock formation next to the road.  All of these years, I had never seen the formation as two rock towers, but once I saw it, and recognized the similarity to the Twin Towers, I knew this would be the 2017 photograph.

      When I woke up this morning, and stepped out to put up our flag (the only one in the neighborhood) I was disappointed to see the heavy cloud cover.  My hope was that I drove up the mountain, it would clear, but that did not happen.  No matter, I was intent on making my photograph, and making it the best I could.  Weather has been a factor in creating most of these photographs, today was to be no different. 

     As I set up the camera, I thought about the year since the last 9/11.  The deep divisions in our country, and the sadness most of my friends share about the direction of the new government.  It is amazing that the country was better immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks than it is now. 

      The more I thought of the current situation, the more melancholy I felt.  It occurred to me that the gloomy sky and flat lighting exactly matched my feelings.  I needed to make the exposure to match that.  It was challenging to hold the detail in the shadows and in the clouds,  but in the end it all come together exactly as I saw and felt it. 

     As I worked out the fine points of the image in the darkroom, I could not help but be hopeful for the future.  Our country will survive the current situation just as we survived the terrorist attacks.  We will see a great country again.  We have seen the best of Americans helping each other following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We have seen the firefighters throughout the west doing incredible things to preserve what they can.  It is America, and we survive.

     And most of all, let's Never Forget.  Lets get back to proudly flying our flags on 9/11.  Remember the tragedy of that awful day. Lets return to being strong and being the best we can be.

 I will Never Forget why I do this........ 






Tuesday, September 11, 2018  6:46 AM Mountain Time

 Divided Trees

Vedauwoo, Albany County Wyoming

4x5 Ilford HP5 Film

Linhof Master 2000 Camera

150 mm lens

1/2 Second Exposure at f/16 

     When I headed out it was a cool morning, with very little wind.  No frost, but it felt like the winter was coming soon.  I hoped my new 8x10 camera would arrive in time for the Never Forget photo this year,  but unfortunately, it was still clearing customs on 9/11. 

     During the year since last 9/11, the country has become more divided and more negative.  Unfortunately, America has lost her way.   Who knows when it may get better, but almost everyone I know believes that not all is lost.  Not yet.  I am truly thankful that our government is built on checks and balances.  I hope our democracy can withstand this test.

     When I saw this scene with the divided trees, I felt that it was the visual depiction of where the country was at this time.  Still upright.  still standing, but standing apart.

      I can not help but think about Where the country was when this project began.  We had been attacked and the country came together as one, and stood strong against our enemies.  Flags were proudly flown.  We were patriotic.  We cared about our fellow Americans. 

     I miss that feeling.  The 9/11 attacks were horrific, but afterward the country was amazing.  I will Never Forget that feeling, and I will Never Forget that my country may be hurting, but we are not done yet.





Wednesday, September 11, 2019  6:46 AM Mountain Time

Trees and Rocks

Box Canyon, Vedauwoo, Albany County Wyoming

 8x10 Ilford FP4+ Film

Bomm V810 Camera

250 mm lens

1/2 Second Exposure at f/22 

      It was a cool calm morning, somewhat unusual for Wyoming in September. It is a beautiful day to have the Bomm camera out and working.  I was hoping to have this camera for last year’s Never Forget photo,  but as luck would have it, the camera cleared customs and arrived at my house the day after 9/11 last year.

      I had scouted this area a couple of days before today, and found a scene I thought would be perfect for today’s photo, but this morning when I arrived, I saw these two trees and plans immediately changed.  The starkness of the trees and rocks truly fit how I was feeling this year.

      After 9/11, I was sure that this day would become a national holiday of remembering, but that never happened.  Even right after, when the attack was fresh in everyone’s minds, there was never an effort to create a holiday. No wonder so many have seemed to forget.

      In 2001, many nations came together to fight terrorism.  18 years later many countries are tearing themselves apart and turning their backs on long-time allies.  As healing as the unity was in 2001, the divisions in 2019 are as strong and deeply disturbing.  It is as if civilization has forgotten how to compromise.   There seems to be no middle ground on any issue.   People cannot find respect for others.

       In spite of the negativity, I still feel strongly about all of the victims and the families effected by the attack and continue to vow to Never Forget. 



Friday, September 11, 2020  6:46 AM Mountain Time

Two Leaning Trees

Oliver Reservoir, Kimball, Nebraska

 8x10 Ilford HP5+ Film

Bomm V810 Camera

250 mm lens

1 Minute Exposure at f/22 

      It was a chilly morning, not what I was expecting in western Nebraska. No wind, no one else around. Once the camera was set up and ready, I had a few minutes to reflect on the project and on the peacefulness of the morning.  In fact most of the mornings I experienced during this project were this way.  Only a couple were windy, or snowy. Usually it is calm, and peaceful, and rejuvenating. Each year as i think about all that has gone on during the year, it is easy to be depressed.  Our country has lost it's way.  The leaders of the country have turned their back on the principals the country was founded on. Civil discussion is long gone.

     On the other hand, it is still an incredible country with so many fantastic citizens.  As the government strip needy citizens of services, individual step up and fill the gap.  The Covid pandemic has widened the abyss between the haves and have nots, and the government is encouraging that as much as possible. It looks like things will get very difficult in our country, with the unavailability of toilet paper being the least of our problems, no matter how important it seems at certain times of the day. 

     There is hope that one day soon, there will be a vaccine, and we will be able to fight the pandemic. Once we are vaccinated things will return to normal.

       Even though there are many challenges ahead, I still forge ahead with this project and I solemnly vow to Never Forget. 




Saturday, September 11, 2021  6:46 AM Mountain Time

Jumbled Trees

Mirror Lake, Snowy Range, Wyoming

 8x10 Kodak TMax 100 Film

Bomm V810 Camera

250 mm lens

1 Minute Exposure at f/32 

      It was an exceptionally warm day in the Wyoming mountains. The end of a long hot summer.  There were many specials on TV about this being the 20th anniversary of 9/11.  Most of them ended with reporters lamenting the loss of the closeness we felt as a nation following 9/11.  There were long stories written about the unity we had, and how we need to find that common interest again. 

     It is a sharp contrast to the citizens of the US that attempted to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021. Or the citizens trying to strip voting rights from as many other citizens as possible.  A third of the population is refusing to be vaccinated to fight the Covid 19 pandemic that it is killing thousands of citizens every day. In many ways the country seems to be headed back to the 1800's. It doesn't seem likely that we will find the civic pride we had right after 9/11.

     In addition to the civil unrest, there is climate change.  Most of the western US spent the summer fighting wild fires, or suffering through the smoke from the fires. The eastern and southern portions of the country dealt with violent storms and severe flooding.  Many years I have shivered as I made the Never Forget image,  but this year I didn't even need a jacket. 

     I have had a few folks ask why I continue this project.  To me, it is the most important photography project I have ever undertaken.  On September 12, 2001, we all said we would Never Forget. I think we all meant it, some more than others. Some of us even thought that September 11 would become a national holiday. I can't forget all of those that lost their lives that day. Nor can I forget all of the families impacted that horrible day.  I also won't forget the day our country was attacked, on our soil. 

    I hope that in some small way, this collection of photographs reminds you of why we all should Never Forget.  It is important for the victims, for their families, and most of all, for our country!




Sunday, September 11, 2022  6:46 AM Mountain Time


Grain Elevator In Fog

Albin Wyoming


8x10 TMax 100 Film

Bomm V810 Camera

250 mm lens

3 Second Exposure at f/32 



This morning is cold. Most of the summer has been far hotter than usual, so it is nice to have a break from the near 100F temperatures, but the 40F felt surprisingly cold.  As I drove east from Cheyenne, there were patches of fog, and I was hoping there wouldn’t be fog around this grain elevator. I had been to the elevator a couple of days before to make sure it would be okay to photograph and the weather had been clear.


Because of the rules I made for myself when I started this project, I knew I had to make the best of what I had in front of me. The fog wasn’t lifting, and the sun was coming up, lighting the top of the tallest structure. At 6:46 when I released the shutter, I felt I had a negative I could make an acceptable print from, but I wasn’t sure if there would be clear definition between the structure and the sky.


There is still a lot of division in the country. Ukraine is at war with Russia, and there is every possibility that conflict could involve a lot more countries before it is resolved, including the US. The Queen of England died a couple of days ago, and the news is mostly about her and the new King. The tragedy of 9/11 was barely mentioned on the news this year. It seems the attack is doomed to only be remembered on milestone anniversaries. There are very few flags flying. Patriots are distracted with other issues.


I still feel strongly about this project and about all of the victims and the families affected by the attack and I still vow to Never Forget. 





Please, Never Ever Forget!


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Never Forget

 By Craig Pindell


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