Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
For The Country by gilad For The Country by gilad

You born to it, to that legacy
You sing the songs, learn the history
You believe in your part in keeping it great
You don't ask what it can do for you, you do for her
You cherish its values, you fight for them, and you die
And after all that, it's not about you. It's about your country.


This was taken from the Arlington national cemetery, Washington D.C, where the tombs of the unknown soldiers are located. More than 300,000 people are buried at Arlington Cemetery. Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the Iraq and Afghanistan. The marbled names of the ones that put the country first.
In the background is the Washington monument (The obelisk). The tallest free standing masonry structure in the world, in honor of the first President of the United States, George Washington.
I wanted to get use the view of the Obelisk to create the point of view that shows the dialog of the ones that sacrificed themselves for the country. I used a Sigma 70-200 from a low angle to create that. The very shallow DOF is on purpose, so I could focus the Obelisk and blur the details of the graves, and making them all into a symbol and not actually the people that died.

This is a strong concept to me, though not American. I can sympathize with "fighting for your country" idea from my own background. Sometimes it feels dumb going to war as one of the soldiers, as a number, but sometimes that's the only thing that makes sense. This piece does not commend war, or critique it, it only honors the ones that were willing to fight for it.
Add a Comment:
methowwolf Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ByChamallow Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good...It reminds me of when I saw the Omaha beach cemetery, in France, in Normandie...
minicoopermaverick Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Wow! It's very touching!

Nobody prays for peace like a soldier.

But I'll be Damned if dieing without a fight!
userh6478 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2007
I love your lines, pictures good, did you do this in one shot or what?
gilad Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2007  Professional Photographer
One shot, of course
awsmdragonqueen Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
the comments here really turned into quite the mess. the picture however is genius, the perspective makes this shot. i'm afraid i'll have to fave it. ;)
macgerahty Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2007  Professional Photographer
is that the full size monument, or is that the smaller, scaled down version?
FreedomsDreams Featured By Owner May 8, 2007   Writer
i think it's a very powerful piece, very perfect, looks like something that was photoshoped or something, and wow has it ever sparked a debate. i don't think it was meant to go against others at war helping. i actuall think that you could just look at it as a symbol, that everyone, no matter where from, goes to fight for a reason.
comicsaaaaaans Featured By Owner May 2, 2007  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Not exactly the best picture ever, but the story behind it is what makes it great. Thats why I love your photography, the fact that every photograph has a story behind it, whether or not it's a true one, it still has one, giving the picture meaning. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes, a thousand words can't even start to sum up a picture. I love your photography :D
vttiste Featured By Owner May 1, 2007
It's sooo true
superkawaii421 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007   Photographer
wow!!!!! this is really beautiful!!!!!!! I didnt even realize u could see the washington monument from Arlington Cemetery. Guess I should go shoot a set down there since I'm outside of DC
slave-screams Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2007
i totally dig the concept behind this. Tho i do not agree with three of the "wars" I use the term loosely with these three for reason, very well thought out and i really like how you intentionally blurred the details of headstones as to not identify person, but rather a group.
ghostlygirl Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2007
This looks AMAZING! Almost dreamy...
PrayForRain Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2007
Beautiful. And I always love your explanations. They add so much to the photos.

Thank you :)
b-M-d Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2007  Professional General Artist
very good shot, and symbolism as well. :)
selfrevolution Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2007
it's really original. :)
SirNixalot Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
...Thank You...
sdrawkcaBknihT Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2007
Okay, what I want to know is how come the sky and clouds are always perfect for YOU? When I went to Washington, it was either cloudy and dark, raining, or not a cloud in sight with an odd color sky. It seems that everywhere you go, the perfect weather follows you T_T Or maybe you just turn the weather into a perfect picture, as I'm sure if it was raining, somehow the picture would have come out miraculously anyway...
gilad Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2007  Professional Photographer
You'll be surprised.. it's not.
Of course I post the good ones, but I get a lot of those "bad days"...
simul Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2007
"This piece does not commend war, or critique it, it only honors the ones that were willing to fight for it."

jazphoto Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2007
I must say, as someone who was born and raised in Washington, D.C. ...this is probably one of the most original photos I have seen of the monument and Arlington National Cemetary...and I have seen MANY. Very nice work indeed!
D1D2D3 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2007   Interface Designer
The sky is like the ocean here, amazing! I like your focus as well as most would have focused on a specific grave you've done the monument making this image truly original in a space that has been photographed for years.
MrWoogly Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2007
fantastic view...:) love the concept,love the picture...:)
evilape Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2007   Photographer
Wow, great composition. Colorful and artful.
FalconLoader Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2007
My Grandfather is here at Arlington WWII. He never met his son.. but he gave and many others that now lie near him gave us our freedom. I too now serve this nation and honestly the world. Your words and this picture capture so much.

Thank you for your insight

You stated that you are not from America, but you have captured the essence of what it means to be apart of something much larger then our selves.
progguy1 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2007
great work man. it touched me
ZenAkita Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Well said my friend. I have to salute all those willing to say. MY PEOPLES freedom matters to me, I BELIVE in serving you. Firemen, policmen, ambulance drivers and military............... I thank them everyday for there SERVICE to all.

I did a small dedication to those that serve myself ------------ > [link]

Thank you for portraying the US a bit my friend. Not all of us are "UGLY americans" Some of us are quite good ;)
xMo0 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2007
MagicMyshu Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2007   Writer
I hate war, but this is beautiful
AestheticAvalon Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2007
I love how you focused this photo....such vibrant contrast....
Padfoot3733 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2007
that place is touching. lovely photo.
sinke Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2007
such a strog photo.
amazing work mate.
Ekkkoe Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2007
This is great man. No fan of America, but this pic is lovely!
Katj Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2007  Professional Photographer
I must say I didn't like it all that much on first glance. But with the story behind it, the picture fits perfectly.
I like your vision and perspective on this, and it's good to see people do actually think about matters like these.
I still think the foreground is abit too vague, personal taste ofcourse, but I do understand why you chose it to be that way.
Congratulations, nice piece. :clap:
Caleb9849 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2007
Very thought-provoking =)
StrippedSpecks Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2007   Photographer
Beautiful job!
the-musician Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2007   Photographer
Thank you. Between the photo and your eloquent words... you bring to light what is sometimes the only reason why our soldiers fight. As the daughter of a military officer, it is often difficult to support the military while disagreeing with the decisions of my government.
Although this photo is focused on American icons, I believe you have succeeded in capturing a variety of feelings and convictions that every citizen of every country has.
Kudos. You are truly amazing in your talents.
curly83 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Very emotive, looking at this shot i can not help but feel sad about all those lives lost.
amaranthiasage Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2007
it makes me sad looking at this.
knowing that so many people had to die scared, alone, afraid.
no one to hold your hand and tell you that you'll be fine. going there (where
ever there was for those men) they knew the risk, but facing you last seconds, saying goodbye to people you love, amongst all that chaos.

so meaningless. so tragic. so terribly barbaric. dying for someone else's ideas or rules.

i would like to believe that every soldier is sent an angelic being at the end. to hold him, to comfort him, to tell him it'll all be okay in a few moments. to not have him die alone on a battlefield, never to be seen again.

nameless soldiers die in vain. for an idea of being a hero for your country, but at the end of it all, their country doesn't even know their name.

nameless and alone...
people walking past every day...
cant even lie flowers on the grave of the one you loved and lost to war...

it makes me sad...
for that, and all my babbling, i think it's a beautiful image.
forcing people to see the nameless soldiers in their nameless graves...

beautiful and sad...
Roli-Poli-Pooh Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2007
HECTIC, VERY INTENSE............HECTIC...........
BloodyLilak Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2007
stkennedy Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2007
amazing concept that's ingeniously dipicated. Great work G
lycoz Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007
scalpalandblue Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007
I've been to Arlington, and it truely is eye opening. It was the first time I visited, and the second. This is beautiful. Beautifully captured something so noble and yet so tragic as those who make the sacrifice for their nation.
mrgraphicsguy Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you had much better shots. But it's interesting that everyone get's mad about your photos (which is mostly understandable)... you could even take a total boring crap shot and everyone would comment and fave it ;)
crazyormental Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007
not to critisize, its a very nice peice, but i feel that the obelisk is too centered.
its very powerful though =]
gilad Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2007  Professional Photographer
ok. thank you
angainor Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007
Honor of the honorless,huh...
Out of the message,the concept is 10/10.
metalmuslim Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007   Photographer
reminds me of something be el Greco that i saw in my literature book while reading the Pit and the Pendullum by Edger Allen Poe
honeydrop Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007
wow, I've never seen anything like that. neat concept
Add a Comment:
  • Canvas
  • Photo
  • Art Gifts
Download JPG 588 × 850


Submitted on
January 31, 2007
Image Size
362 KB


627 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D
Shutter Speed
1/8192 second
Focal Length
200 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 28, 2007, 9:00:42 PM