Saturday, December 15, 2007

Two Things Challenge: Hold / Value

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The inscription on the tomb reads: Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."

This week's Two Things Challenge was a little tricky and a bit more complex than the last. The word "Hold" was especially challenging. Thanks to Roget's, I found a bevy of synonyms that enhanced the meaning of this word significantly. The definition for hold I'm choosing as my focal point this week is "to secure or make safe." My subject is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. I arrived on Friday afternoon in time for the Changing of the Guard ceremony right at 12:00. In all of America, this is probably the most hallowed ground outside of the lands of our native peoples. In the tomb rest the remains of soldiers from World Wars I and II and the Korean War. For a time, the remains of a soldier from Vietnam were interred here, but with advances in technology, soldiers are no longer unknown when they die on the field of battle or in peace. Of anything meant to hold or secure, I can think of nothing symbolically more fitting than this in Washington.


In contrast to the Tomb, I could think of nothing more stark to portray value than the issue of homelessness in America. I like to keep this blog non-partisan, so I'm not going to wax on about how I feel regarding this issue in our country. I will say this, though: The irony of this photo is, I shot it in McPherson Square, which is located at the corner of 15th and K Streets NW. K Street is home to many of the nation's most powerful lobbying groups--Republican and Democratic--and the values they espouse for big business and special interests. It's also one block from the White House.

Copyright: D.C. Confidential, 12/07


Bobbie said...

Again, you have educated me about my country's capital. The homeless issue was particularly enlightening as many of the homeless are veterans. I did not realize that there are no unidentified soldiers anymore, although I should have.

Your 2 things challenge entry is well done!

Debi said...

Thought provoking photos from you this week (and as always). Their composition makes an interesting contrast, with the Tomb of the Unknown soldier being somber and focused, and with the homeless photo being busy and the homeless person almost lost among all the goings-on.

Another wonderful entry from you. So glad you are participating!

I've now added your thumbnail to the mini gallery and have updated the donation tally.

Anonymous said...

Arlington was also the first thing that came to my mind for this challenge..but I KNEW you would have a much better photo than I could provide....and I was not disappointed!

The homeless seem to be much more visible in large cities...I was appalled at the large number of people just laying on the steps and sidewalks waiting for shelters to open in downtown Nashville. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer...pity

Bev said...

What a beautiful photo to illustrate hold and kept safe. I agree that the brave men who went through so much are the ones that should be valued the most, even though in some cases it is just their memories. This is a beautiful tomb and poignant with the single soldier standing to attention and the single wreath.

Values, maybe the values are all wrong, with the homeless on park benches just minutes away from all the power and wealth!

Cele said...

What an incredible contrast and the territorial explainations help those of us (not there) to clearly see your message.

D.C. Confidential said...

Bobbie: That's true and I worry that we'll start to see a spike in homeless vets again as young men and women return for Iraq with debilitating injuries and PTSD.

Debi: Thank you! I'm really enjoying this. I'm glad I stumbled onto this venture! It's been a great way to focus my creativity.

Sandollar: I'm glad you liked this photo. I have several others that turned out really well, including one with Washington in the background, so it was hard to choose. Maybe I'll post one or two of my other shots later. And you're right: the American middle class is slowly be squeezed out.

Bev: Hear! Hear! I, too, find it upsetting that within sight of the White House there is deprivation.

Cele: So glad you made it over here! I'm glad you enjoyed this grouping. You should join us on the Two Things Challenge. I always enjoy the photos you post on your blog!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

WOW. Great entry for value. I have had the homeless-ness issue put on my heart recently so it's also good timing. I was once homeless by choice, sleeping in cars as opposed to going back home (too much pride!) and I used to think it was kind of rebelious and 'cool' to shun society like that. Ah well, we all have to grow up sometime! And it really was a choice. I feel for people who have no choice, whose circumstances (and other peoples values) trap them there. They would know the true value of a warm meal, warm bed and warm arms to hold them.
Food for thought. Thanks for a great post!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Opps! I meant to say that is one beautiful building behind them too! The arches, the detail...beautiful!

dianeclancy said...

These are very powerful and thought provoking entries!! Thank you.

It IS awful how rampant homeless is now. Priorities need to include basic needs for everyone!!

Thank you,

~ Diane Clancy