Six years ago, a public art installation called “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” was created and installed in the Tower of London to commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of World War 1, and it consisted of 888,246 ceramic red poppies, each intended to represent one British or Colonial serviceman killed in the War. More than four million people crowded around the Tower of London between July and August 2014 (Nothing like anything we have experienced this year!) to take a look at this breath-taking display. The idea being that people would see a whole field of poppies that was transient, like the people that fought in the war – there for a small amount of time and then gone.
At the end of November, the display was dismantled, with some of the ceramic poppies going on sale with the proceeds going to charity, and others being displayed in different areas of the country for a short period of time – and you may have had the privilege to visit it. My wife and I were fortunate enough to purchase one of these special poppies. The dismantled poppy arrived , all carefully packed, and it was there for us to re-assemble. We donated it to the church we were then serving in where it is now displayed under the War Memorial board. This was a piece of history, an exclusive handmade piece of art which has been weathered and aged in the Tower moat, making it truly unique.
When we dis-member something we take it apart, when we re-member we put it back together, and so the poppy was re-assembled for one last time as a lasting tribute to those who lost their lives in conflict – and we remember. This year, our Remembrance Day activities will be very different from what we have done for so many years – however, it is still important to mark the occasion with respect and thanksgiving for those who gave their lives so others may live. We will remember.
Every blessing, Deacon David