Yesterday, here in the USA was Veteran’s Day. A day dedicated to remember and honor all those who served in the armed forces of this country.
[Disclaimer: I’m not an American citizen. Never served in any kind of armed force in any part of the world. I understand that armies have been necessary in order to protect people and keep peace. That doesn’t mean I agree with their existence.]
I’ve been wanting to shoot a project, for a few years already, on Veteran’s Day. Something that shows the reality of those who come back home and those who don’t and their families. Never managed to do so due to some external factors that are not important right now. Soon I’ll be leaving the US, so I won’t be able to work on this project anyway. But I still decided to go and take some photos on Veteran’s Day at a place I’ve seen million times while driving. The Golden Gate National Cemetery.
I’ve seen this place from the road, like I said, million times; but never put a foot in it … till yesterday. Let me say that I’m by no means afraid of cemeteries, or apprehensive to be surrounded by gravestones. I, as many of us, been in a cemetery a few times before unfortunately. But this time it was different. Maybe because it is not a common cemetery, all those domino alike tombstones, all aligned … and the vast amount you can see. It was definitely a weird feeling. Very weird.
It would be very easy to start ranting here about political climate, oil, the rich and the poor, who pays the price … I ain’t no senator’s son … You catch my drift. But instead I think it is better to leave you with a thought.
Think in all the lives that had been taken away (and still are) by wars. Military, civilians, it doesn’t matter. A live is a live. No human being has the right to decide who lives or die. No one!
Every tombstone you see in the photos is a person that didn’t want to die. Every tombstone is a person that rather be home enjoying their family, or creating one; seeing your kids grow up, your grandkids … And the same thing in the other side, the people that they were fighting against. Self preservation is not human nature, it is animal nature. Nobody wants to die, it is our most primary instinct. But we go and kill or get killed because someone told us we have to.
To those whom had, have, or will have the power to start wars – I hope you are happy -. But remember that you not only have the power to start wars but also and most importantly to stop them.
Vaya con Dios!