At 11am on the 11th November 1918 World War 1 officially ended.
Since then, this day that was originally known as Armistice Day and later as Remembrance Day, remembers those that lost their lives for their countries. Parades and wreath laying ceremonies take place with most of the country stopping at 11am for one or two minute’s silence depending on where you are.
This year marks the centenary of the start of World War One.
London has chosen to commemorate this day by covering the lawn in the moat around the Tower of London with 888,246 ceramic red poppies that each represent a British death in World War 1. Over the summer, the poppies have been added one by one by volunteers with the last poppy to be planted on the 11th November.
Called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ this fabulous art installation is the work of British artist Paul Cummins and set designer Tom Piper. It is one of the most moving memorials I have seen since the visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York.
As you can imagine, the display has been incredibly popular. Tower Hill tube station was closed because of the congestion on the day we visited and the paths were packed as we walked from nearby Monument station. Even so, everyone politely took their turn at the railings and we were able to see this wonderful sight from a few different vantage points.
It’s hard to see in the shadows but on this side, poppies flow from one of the windows in the Tower.
And from the Thames River side, a cascade of red poppies comes over the bridge to the Tower…
The poppies have all been sold and the installation was due to be dismantled after November 11th but it has just been announced that the display will remain for an extra fortnight before two parts of the installation will go on tour before finally finding a permanent home in the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester. If you’re lucky enough to be in London and haven’t seen this, it really is one display not to be missed!
Were you able to see the poppies? Did you find it a moving display?