Today marks 100 years from the beginning of the First World War, it is today we will stand and remember those who lost their lives for their country a century ago. We will also remember those who have since given their lives for their country in conflict around the world, we will remember our ancestors, our grandparents, our parents, our friends, we will wear a poppy and stand in unison at the eleventh hour on today, in silence and remember all of those who have given their lives to protect our freedom.
If you are anywhere in London today then you will see many walking around with a poppy attached to them, this poppy is a mark of remembrance for all those who have lost their lives for their country. The poppy as a mark of remembrance comes from the famous World War One poem, In Flanders Fields:
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. – John McCrae
This year marks a century since England joined the First World War, to mark this occasion a ceramic poppy for every British and Colonial death during World War One has been planted in the Tower of London moat, 888,246 of them, creating a instillation which is quite honestly, incredibly moving. Seeing the number on page like this is one thing, but seeing the red moat surrounding the Tower of London is really poignant. The poppies will surround the tower for another few weeks until the end of the month, I urge you, if you have the chance please go and see them for yourself.