London, England – As the United Kingdom commemorates the lives of servicemen who paid the ultimate price in the Great War, the final poppy representing a fallen soldier was laid. In all, volunteers put in countless man hours to lay a total of 888,246 poppies at the Tower of London. The final flower was a ceramic poppy set in place by 13-year-old Harry Hayes, a Berkshire cadet. The mosaic of poppies was given the name of “Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red”. As per General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, a total of 5 million people have visited the artwork. Ceramic artist Paul Cummins was behind the creation.
As the final names were read aloud, a 21 gun salute fired off. The name of the artwork was taken from a line of poetic prose penned in the will of a serviceman from Berkshire. The line reads as follows: “he blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread”. The serviceman perished in Flanders, Belgium. The former head of the British Army expressed his profound pleasure with the project because it was able to involve so many people. He also pointed out that the number of poppies reflected the number of British and colonial lives sacrificed in World War I. He added that each poppy was more than a life lost. It was a family shattered by the loss of a loved one.
A selection of the poppies will go on a national tour. The wave segments and weeping window will be the final installments to be dismantled. Ultimately, a sample of the poppies numbering in the thousands will be set on display at the Manchester and London Imperial War Museums. Prime Minister David Cameron commented that within a short period of time, the display became beloved by citizens across the nation.
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