Lights Out One Last Time
Last night, 1,700 people attended a final concert from Westminster Abbey featuring poetry, music and speeches from the First World War, and the televised event proved an extraordinarily moving and powerful experience. The service of remembrance was conducted surrounding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
As lights were turned off across the nation to remember this most terrible of wars, a vast battery of lights fired a single beacon far into the night sky (as you can see, low cloud halted it for much of the time – I wonder how far it would have gone on a clear night).
To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper have created a staggering installation of poppies planted in the moat of the Tower of London. Titled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the work consist of 888,246 red ceramic flowers—each representing a British or Colonial military fatality—that flow through grounds around the tower.
It’s surely the most fervent wish of everyone involved that lessons should be learned, but one hundred years later, as the war of attrition continues in the Middle East, it proves not the case.