Today is Veterans Day in the United States, a day that is no longer as well-recognized or publicly commemorated as it once was in this country. In honor of Veterans Day, I am sharing pictures of a remarkable art installation at the Tower of London: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.*
Marking the centenary of England and the Commonwealth’s participation in World War I, 888,246 ceramic poppies – representing each British soldier killed during the war – have been “planted” in the moat of the Tower of London over the last few months. November 10 was to have been the final day, but the installation has proven so popular with the visiting public that a reprieve has been granted.
The individual poppies were available for purchase by the public, with part of the proceeds going to charities that provide support services for the armed forces. The installation itself is so moving that it has inspired smaller memorials from visitors who have placed their personal remembrances on the fence surrounding the moat.
Each poppy is handmade and therefore unique, as wonderfully individual as each one of the veterans commemorated by this installation.
The gap between those who serve in the armed forces and the rest of us at home who just glimpse war on TV seems awfully wide these days. Wouldn’t it be nice if the United States veterans were represented by a project of similar scale and impact?
- The title is taken from a poem of the same name that was written during World War I. Read the full text here.