The transience of the Tower of London poppies

by Stephen Tall on November 13, 2014

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I finally made it to the Tower of London  today, as the volunteers were gathering the 888,246 hand-made ceramic poppies which have filled its moat to mark the centenary of the First World War.

I wish I’d seen the full display, but there is also something quite affecting about seeing the care with which each individual poppy is plucked and packaged ready for its new owner, and  about watching the red tide slowly recede and normality re-assert itself.

It is the out-of-the-ordinary transience of this memorial which has made it stand out. Permanence would have robbed it of its impact.

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