Thursday, August 21, 2014

Along the Thames & In our Memory

Last night, my husband took me for a walk along the river. I love this part of the city, and it shines in the golden hour!

We also spent some time outside the Tower of London.

The Tower is currently displaying an art installation, in remembrance of the First World War. Entitled "Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red", ceramic red poppies pour out of the tower and fill the moat surrounding the fortress.

Poppies have become a symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives in service to their country, owing primarily to this poem written by a soldier in the First World War.

In Flanders Field
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place, and in the sky, 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe! 
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high! 
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-- Lieutenant  Colonel John McCrae
Though the poppies pouring across the grass are breathtakingly beautiful, the effect deepens when you realise each represents a English (or commonwealth) life lost in WWI. And they're still 'planting' more. By the end of the exhibit, 888,246 poppies will line those fields.
888,246 souls.
In remembrance, and in prayer for the souls in danger today.

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