With yesterday being Remembrance Sunday in the UK and tomorrow being Veterans Day in the USA I thought this would be a good time to come out of the blogging shadows and share my tribute. Wherever you are, you have most likely seen or heard about the poppy installation at the Tower of London. Maybe somebody reading this has been there in person as the crowds have been overwhelming to visit the site, estimated over 4 million. I went in the middle of October and thought it was pretty busy then so I can only imagine what it must be like now. Even though it was a dreary, rainy day when I went it didn’t lessen the overwhelming impact of seeing the poppies fill the moat.
I was anticipating that it would be impressive, but it was even more moving and humbling than I had expected. A big hats off to the artists and organisers for such a successful and genius event! Seriously amazing in every way. Above is the size of just one ceramic poppy. Each one was individually made by hand and then singly placed in the moat – to the final total of 888,246, the last one to be placed Nov. 11. “Each one represents a British military death during the first World War which broke out 100 years ago.” Then – imagine all the soldiers who have fought and died for our freedom throughout the world over the centuries and it is overwhelming.
I was surprised to see that the poppies wrapped all the way around in front of the Tower Bridge. Also that they were artfully placed as well, even allowing for paths amongst the flowers. You might have seen a picture of the Queen walking amongst the poppies.
There is a walkway/sidewalk so you can view the poppies in the moat from above and do not need to purchase a ticket of any kind to view them. The installation has been so popular that parts of it will remain in the moat for two extended weeks and then be displayed in areas of the country before residing at their permanent homes at the Imperial War Museums at London and Manchester. All of the poppies that were for sale to individuals have been sold and the proceeds will be shared with six service charities.
The top of the Shard disappearing into the fog makes the sea of red poppies below even more dramatic I think.
As I walked across the street there is a memorial to the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets from WW ll. It was rather fitting for me as my dad was in the Navy during the second World War. Also appropriate if you are a Downton Abbey watcher that they unveiled their town’s memorial on last night’s show.
Transitioning to the USA – Regent Street was decorated with American flags. As you can see it is about the NFL being played in the UK, but I think it’s fair I can use it as a tribute to the American Veterans too. Thank you for defending our freedom.