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We Will Remember Them

November 5, 2014

“In Flanders fields, the poppies blow,” so runs McCrae’s poem.

As most people at the moment will tell you, the same is true of the moat at the Tower of London. I was there at twilight on Saturday, and can honestly say that as a piece of art it was memorable for all the right reasons.

I’m amazed at the scale of it. All four sides of the moat filled with poppies, with more cascading from a tower and in a “wave” on one side near the embankment. They’re big too. The size of a large man’s hand, mostly… I was lucky enough to have ordered one back in August, and now wonder where I’ll display it, given the size.

It was a mostly British crowd, and I’m not sure why the press were saying how dangerous it was, as everybody just made space for each other as we filed round, as us Brits do. Sure, a lane on Tower Bridge is closed to traffic, and there’s one “pinch point” in front of the main display on the drawbridge side, but with great humour, everyone who wished to, got to stand at the rail. That said, “go early or late” (it’s wonderfully floodlit) is good advice.

In that wonderful atmosphere everybody was talking to each other, at random. And one of the topics was who had indeed ordered one. Those who had were joking about which one was “theirs,” (it was a good joke, as there are hundreds of thousands on view), those who had not were congratulating the rest on being “lucky,” and everybody was hoping nobody would re-sell them online at a profit – unless raising money for charity.

Most of all, though, people were saying the same thing. In the same place. The corner of the Tower from which you could see the moat along Tower Bridge and also the moat on the main drawbridge entrance side of the Tower… probably half a million poppies in all…

… EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM A SOLDIER WHO GAVE HIS OR HER LIFE FOR MINE AND EVERYBODY ELSE STANDING THERE IN AWE.

Humble.

We WILL remember them.
upoppy2010

 

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