Well, I made my first visit to Arlington National Cemetery. I found it to be a profoundly peaceful place. There is something about places like these that cause you to reflect and ponder. I am saddened that our culture has vilified and vandalized the idea of peace that can be found in places like these. The whole slasher movie, death cult, ghost chaser and spooky thing has corrupted what is one of the most fundamentally hope giving ideas. Rest In Peace. Free from daily cares. We are not, they are free, and hopefully they have found some peace.
In my job, I witness daily the pain and suffering that many endure because of mental and emotional illness. It is as relentless as cancer and I would gage more painful due to the sometimes life long struggles. To constantly be nagged by worry and fear and touched by such sadness, it wears so many down to the point of no return. There is no peace in that. Say what you will about the state of medicine and the industries that surround it, I know that we are not nearly where we need to be in discovering the treatments that will help in these horrible diseases. I am proud that some of the products that we make have brought some measure of peace to those who suffer.
It is not only those things that can wear on you, it is all of the things that we add to the burden of ourselves and others. We get so concerned about things that in a long and eternal perspective have little value. We pay a high price for what amounts to a pittance. Moral choices have consequences. The only coin that we have is time. When we waste it on things that do not uplift, we have truly squandered away the only thing of value we had in this life.
When we visit a place like this, we are reminded that we will die. It will come, and we cannot stop it. We miss the point to often when we focus on the loss and not the life. We have then the opportunity to prioritize the life we have and the relationships we have. We can choose to continue on in a path that we are following, or we can make an effort to chose the better, more affirming opportunities that are in front of us.
For some, it seems like there are not any pieces of this life that hold any value. These men and women would disagree. They used a portion of their time on this earth to protect and defend our freedom to pursue our happiness. Their sacrifice cannot be undervalued. Weather you are for the war or against it, now or in the past, the price that has been paid by many must be held sacred. It does not matter you views of politics, religion or the world. The sacrifices made deserve the all the respect that we have.
I have included a few out takes, as I played with the photos for mood and effect. Let me know what you think.
Thanks for looking.