Often referred to as the “Great War”, World War I was considered at the time to be the war to end all wars. Modern historians consider it a significant turning point in human history, representing a radical shift in military technology and tactics, and leading to unprecedented death tolls. The only war to ever cause more casualties is World War II.
Since the war’s end, every country involved has held memorials to the fallen. This tradition is especially strong in England, where nearly a million people lost their lives. A hundred years after the war, they are still not forgotten, and were commemorated this year with a hauntingly beautiful tribute.
This is the famous Tower of London. Its moat has stood empty and dry for a long, long time until now. What looks like blood coming out of the walls, however, is something completely beautiful.
This summer, the moat was filled with 888,246 red ceramic poppies. That’s one for every single Briitish and Colonial soldier who died in World War I.
Over several weeks, a team of 150 volunteers placed the ceramic flowers, one by one.
As a symbolic gesture, the very last poppy was planted on Novermber 11, Armistice Day. This was also the last day of the installation.
Every evening, the Last Post was sounded, and the names of the dead were read aloud in an appropriately sobering commemoration of the Great War.
No matter what the reasons behind going to war might be, one thing anyone can agree on is that the bravery of those who answered the call deserves respect. Please share this story, and help carry on the legacy of these heroes.