Ceramic poppies honor U.K. dead from WWI

Posted: August 6, 2014 at 5:26 a.m.

LONDON — A blood-red sea of ceramic poppies is surrounding the Tower of London to commemorate British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in World War I.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Harry on Tuesday to symbolically “plant” poppies in the dry moat surrounding the Tower to honor the military dead.

The installation, called “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red,” is at the moment made up of 120,000 ceramic poppies, a carpet of crimson.

The red tide will widen in the coming months until there are 888,246 poppies — one for each of the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the war, which Britain entered in August 1914.

The poppy has been the traditional symbol of remembrance in Britain since World War I, when a poem from the era recalled the flower melding with the dead in Flanders.

The project is meant to convey an army not as a faceless machine but as individuals, unique and special in their own right.

“I’m literally trying to represent people because a number is a number, but if you see it all like this it is a visual idea of how many people were there,” said its creator, Paul Cummins.


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