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article imageTower of London's moat is filled with thousands of red poppies Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 11, 2014 in Travel
London - The "Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red" is an exhibition by artist Paul Cummins. The exhibit involves 888,246 ceramic poppies planted in the dry moat at the Tower of London, to mark the one hundred years since the start of World War One.
The red poppy has been a traditional symbol of the act of remembrance for those who have lost their lives fighting in war, with World War One, the conflict which started the symbolic act, given special significance. This significance is at it height this year, with 2014 being the one hundredth anniversary of the start of one of the most bloody conflicts to ravage humanity - World War One. Britain declared war on Germany at 23:00 on 4 August 1914, and with it thousands of soldiers engaged in the bloodiest conflict the world had known. Millions of deaths occurred worldwide, until the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Armistice is marked by Remembrance Sunday each year.
A view of the Tower of London. The moat is filled with a colorful red burst of ceramic poppies.
A view of the Tower of London. The moat is filled with a colorful red burst of ceramic poppies.
As to why the poppy is the symbol of those lost in conflict, scarlet corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. From late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were ripped open as World War One raged through Europe's heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.
To mark the one hundred years and in preparation for Remembrance Sunday this November, the moat of the Tower of London has been filled with thousands of red, ceramic poppies.
A long cue of people waiting to enter the Tower of London during October. The red hue of the poppies...
A long cue of people waiting to enter the Tower of London during October. The red hue of the poppies planted in the moat can be seen to the left.
A close view of the poppies. The normally green moat is filled with a sea of scarlet.
A close view of the poppies. The normally green moat is filled with a sea of scarlet.
The poppies have been installed in the moat of an iconic London landmark - the Tower of London. The "tower" is actually an historic castle, and it is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. The central part, The White Tower, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078.
The breathtaking array of poppies planted in the moat draws in hundreds of people each day. Here  as...
The breathtaking array of poppies planted in the moat draws in hundreds of people each day. Here, as people gaze down the Tower of London can be seen in the background.
The poppies were designed by artist Paul Cummins, and the pattern was inspired by a line from the will of a Derbyshire serviceman who died in Flanders. According to the BBC, the soldier describes "the blood swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread." The exhibition has been aptly named "Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red."
A view from London s tallest landmark - The Shard. The blaze of red  built up by over 800 000 poppie...
A view from London's tallest landmark - The Shard. The blaze of red, built up by over 800,000 poppies, can be clearly seen.
The reason for the number - 888,236 - is that this the official tally of the number of each British and Colonial death during the conflict. The video below provides some background information about the project.
At the end of the display, in November, the ceramic poppies will be available to buy for £25 each (around $40). The proceeds will be distributed among several charities for war veterans.
An alternate view of the field of poppies. Some of London s key landmarks can be seen in the backgro...
An alternate view of the field of poppies. Some of London's key landmarks can be seen in the background, including the building occupied by the Mayor of London.
More about tower of london, World war one, Remembrance Sunday, Poppies
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