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posted: 8/5/2014 10:12 AM

Red ceramic poppies spill from Tower of London

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  • Ceramic poppies form part of an art installation laid out in the dry moat of the Tower of London in London. The installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies by ceramic artist Paul Cummins entitled "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Read" was unveiled Tuesday to mark the centenary of World War I, with the final one being planted on Armistice Day on November 11. Each poppy represents a British military fatality from World War I.

      Ceramic poppies form part of an art installation laid out in the dry moat of the Tower of London in London. The installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies by ceramic artist Paul Cummins entitled "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Read" was unveiled Tuesday to mark the centenary of World War I, with the final one being planted on Armistice Day on November 11. Each poppy represents a British military fatality from World War I.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LONDON -- A blood-red sea of ceramic poppies is spilling from the Tower of London to commemorate British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in World War I on the 100th anniversary of its start.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Harry on Tuesday to "plant" the ceramic poppies in the dry moat surrounding the Tower to honor the military dead.

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The installation, called "Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red," is made up of 120,000 ceramic poppies. More will be added in the coming months until there are 888,246 -- one for each of the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the war.

Gen. Richard Dannatt says one of the installation's virtues is that it allows the dead to be remembered together as well as being individuals.

The installation will continue through Nov. 11, the day World War I ended in 1918.

Poppies became a symbol of war dead after the crimson flowers sprang up across the battlefields of Belgium where hundreds of thousands of soldiers died in World War I. The poem "In Flanders Fields," written by a Canadian doctor who ran a field hospital during the war, begins with the famous line, "In Flanders fields, the poppies blow -- Between the crosses, row on row." Poppies were later adopted as a symbol of remembrance and are often sold on holidays honoring veterans to benefit soldiers' charities.

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