To commemorate the beginning of the Great War in 2014, a dramatic arrangement of 888,246 ceramic popppies — one for every British and colonial serviceman who died between then and 1918 — surrounds the Tower of London.

The poppies have been ‘planted’ over the past several weeks. The last one was put in place on Remembrance Day by 13-year old Army Cadet Harry Hayes in memory of

his great-great-great uncle, Private Patrick Kelly of 1st Bn The Irish Guards, who was killed in action on September 27, 1918, just weeks before the war’s end.

This aerial photograph which appears in the Daily Mail shows the magnitude of the project and gives us a stark reminder of those who died in that war. The memorial has attracted at least 4 million visitors, such that the Tower of London Tube station has been on overload and sometimes closed because it has reached capacity.

Although some on the Left have publicly criticised the field of poppies which cover the moat surrounding the Tower, England’s party leaders — including Labour and Liberal Democrats — have asked that the display remain in place throughout the month of November.

Originally, all of it was to have been dismantled shortly after Remembrance Day. However, two sections — The Wave and The Weeping Window — will stay in place until the end of the month. Arrangements of most of the poppies will be distributed around the nation.

Members of the public were able to purchase a poppy for £25. Proceeds went to the Royal British Legion. Those who purchased poppies will receive them later this year.

The aforementioned article from the Daily Mail explains more and has several magnificent pictures of this fitting tribute to those described on the Cenotaph as ‘The Glorious Dead’. The pictures include both The Weeping Window and The Wave.

Artist Paul Cummins, who calls his work Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, has done an excellent job of putting the sacrifices of the Great War in public memory. He deserves a Queen’s Honour in the New Year.

Although I cannot find the comment now, one of the commenters on the Daily Mail article said that she took her five-year old granddaughter to tour the display. Afterward, the girl said, ‘That’s a lot of men to leave on the fields of France.’ That little girl understood. This memorial speaks to all of us, no matter where we live — or how young we are.

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