WWI feels very long ago but it was only 100 years. In our rush-around world that seems far in the past but it’s barely out of living memory. As older generations die, the emotional connect the public holds for those events has loosened.
An artist installation at the Tower of London is changing that.
Between August 5th and November 11th of 2014 The Tower of London Remembers the First World War. In a powerful visual display 888,246 red ceramic poppies will be placed in public view, spilling from within the Tower and onto the grounds. The installation is called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Paul Cummins is the artist who created the poppies – an incredible undertaking in and of itself. Designer Tom Piper has choreographed the placement of the flowers in the field. To really appreciate the scale and extent, click on THIS LINK to see a collection of images – you won’t be sorry.
My great grandfather was a soldier in WWI – but I’m sad to say I know nothing more than that. Should you care to get involved, you can participate in several meaningful ways.
You can make a DEDICATION to commemorate a lost loved one, someone who served, a memory you want to share with others. Take a moment to read some of these shared remembrances. The messages are poignant and powerful.
You can own a piece of this historic event by purchasing a POPPY from the installation. I did. I want to remember and I will every time I see that red flower. Proceeds from the sale of the poppies benefit a number of different charities so there’s an added incentive.
The sheer scale of this endeavor is mind-boggling. The visuals are potent and thought-provoking. The shared memories and commentary are enlightening, heart-breaking, and introspective. Most of all, art installations like this one serve to remind us that legions have fought for ideals – their own and others – and we far too easily forget the sacrifices made and the losses sustained.
Won’t you take a moment from your busy day to visit the site and reflect? Buy a poppy or make a donation for the veteran’s organization of your choice. Be thoughtful. Be thankful. And perhaps we can remember the teeming dead these flowers represent the next time we think to take up arms.