It’s hard to find a more sobering place than standing in the middle of Arlington cemetery and seeing nothing but headstones in all directions; each marking the suffering and loss of not only a brave soldier but of their families, friends and loved ones.
There’s a peacefulness here, in the parts of the grounds where tourists don’t venture; the areas that don’t hold a famous person or memorial plaque, just miles upon miles of forgotten soldiers.
Sometimes I think politicians and presidents should be forced to walk the whole of the Cemetery, not missing seeing a single grave, before being allowed to send troops to war. They would end their tour in the least-seen, most depressingly somber section - the ground that lays empty except for the untouched grass. That is what I would want them to remember. The sight of that empty land, waiting to hold the effects of their decisions. Choose carefully.
We have a military full of brave and courageous soldiers ready to die for us and for all of those truths and values we hold so dear as a country, but we can never allow ourselves to forget the price we pay for our freedoms. If you ever need reminding, come to Arlington, step off of the tourist-laden paths and look around.