Remembrance Day

The Tower of London Poppies Installation is Completed on Remembrance Day

On November 11, the multi-month effort to plant a ceramic poppy within the moat of the Tower of London in honor of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost during World War I was completed.

Officially titled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the installation features hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies – the ceremonial flower traditionally used to remember war veterans in Britain – arranged in and around the Tower moat. Known colloquially as the “Tower Poppies” this exhibit has been drawing crowds for weeks, as visitors came to admire the impressive artwork and pay their respects to those who lost their lives in combat. Each poppy – planted by veterans, celebrities, public figures and volunteers – represents a British military fatality in World War I.

A Field of Poppies Marks the Anniversary of WWI at the Tower of London

A gorgeous new installation opened today (August 5) at the Tower of London, to make the centenary anniversary of the start of World War I.

Called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the display by ceramic artist Paul Cummins will feature hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies – the ceremonial flower traditionally used to remember war veterans in Britain – arranged in and around the Tower’s moat.

The official Twitter account for the Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that oversees locations such as the Tower, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and others – has been sharing photos of the event this week, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how such a massive undertaking will be completed. Take a look at some of the most impressive below.

British Actors Read War Poetry For Remembrance Day

While we call November 11 Veterans Day here in the United States, it’s referred to as Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, and some folks still like to call it Armistice Day, or even Poppy Day, depending on who you talk to. Nevertheless, the sentiment is all the same – November 11 is a date when we all take a moment to reflect and to say a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces around the world, whatever country they may hail from.

Remembrance Day is observed on the 11th of November to recall the official end of World War I; hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” when Germany signed the Armistice Agreement.

There are many traditions surrounding Remembrance Day in the UK – the general population wears poppies as part of the Royal British Legion’s annual fundraising appeal, a moment of silence is observed, the Queen and other members of the monarchy and government place wreaths at the Cenotaph in memory of fallen soldiers, and many other events around the country at various war memorials and elsewhere.

This is the second year running that More 4, a digital channel run by UK broadcaster Channel 4, has marked Remembrance Weekend with special programming focused on the war and war poetry. The channel created a series of special interstitials featuring several notable British actors reading poems about the war, including Sean Bean, Christopher Eccleston, Gemma Aerterton, Sophie Okonedo, Noel Clarke and more. Poets featured include Seamus Heaney, Wilfred Own, Siegfried Sasson, Rupert Brooke and others.