In April 09, my wife and I had the honor and privilege of attending the funeral for our dear friend Jerry who had recently passed. I had never been to Arlington nor was it in my immediate plans till the Lord unexpectedly called Jerry home. That funeral was for me one of the most moving experiences of my life. Upon our return home, I never felt more proud to be an American, more proud to have called Jerry my friend and more certain of a place to which I would return.
When I arrived home, I cancelled plans for my photo shoot out west and 1 week later, I again found myself back in Arlington. I wanted to photograph and document as much as possible, which anyone is free to do. Most of the time, I felt the need to be alone but sometimes, I felt the need to experience with everyone else the gratitude we all felt for the staggering loss of life that completely surrounded us. No matter what direction you turned, you were reminded of the countless individuals and families who made a sacrifice only they, and others like them, can understand. Arlington National Cemetery truly is hallowed ground. Greater love hath no man, than to lay down his life for a friend is how I read every tombstone whether it was marked or not. For the first time in my life I finally understood that the most precious earthly possession I have was purchased by someone I never met. It is called freedom and if you ever need reminded of its price, visit Arlington.