Blood Swept Lands and Seas of RedPosted: November 8, 2014
We went to the poppy installation at the tower of London today.
We had wanted to go many weekends before and we bought two of the installation poppies as soon as they were available on line through the British Legion. The thing about today, however, that I liked is that the installation is nearly as finished as it will be when it ends on November 11th at 11am.
They were still planting poppies today as we walked along and they are as important as the very first of what is now a huge display.
It is impressive to see such a big ‘sculpture’ but it is also deeply tragic that this sea of red flowers represents so very many lost lives!
Both JC and I struggled with the selfies and family photo shots that were being taken with the poppies in the background. So many of the people getting their pictures taken in front of it really didn’t seem to grasp the significance of each and every one of the 888,246 poppies and that they represents a life lost; wasted to the wages of war.
A loss that the family of the loved one will never have recovered from!
We were there for hours walking around the inside of the tower where you see parts of the installation not visible from the public footpaths surrounding the tower and there is a section where the moat space tails off and there are some poppies that are singular and in an open line. That row of solitary poppies really impacted on me, it was very poignant and makes you realise that a lot of the 888,246 not only died but also died alone and in very terrible conditions.
The entire thing made me feel very emotional and I struggled to keep a check on the tears.
That check became even harder when we got to the WW1 exhibition that shows black and white photos of soldiers training within the grounds of the tower in 1914; then the same photo has a modern day equivalent 2014 person standing where one of the other men had been.
It was deeply moving.
I’m pleased that they are to keep the installation a bit longer and I would really like it if they took the poppies away one by one as if reversing the installation so that they flow back to the first poppy and the first loss of life in this great war of wars.
I would heartily recommend it.
Our future generations need to understand the extent of the devastation.
It is a humbling experience that will not leave me.
But I am so pleased to have had the chance to see this amazing reminder of so many lost lives.
Brothers, cousins, sisters, dads, sons, mums, dads, the list goes on.
All serving people who will have been terrified and quite bewildered by the events leading up to their death.
They thought they’d all be home by Christmas
Little did they know.
And we really must NEVER forget!