I visited the Tower with my family in August, when less than half of its 10-hectare moat was filled with ceramic poppies. Today, Remembrance Day, marks the work’s culmination: Nearly 900,000 poppies overflow the moat, each commemorating a British and Commonwealth serviceman who died during the First World War, including nearly 66,000 Canadians and one of my great grandfathers.
My visit would have been emotional enough had I been there on my own. But with my wife and two young daughters at my side, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red gave new meaning and perspective to the bravery of our fallen heroes. The installation is slated to remain in place for a few weeks, and I urge you to visit. After all, the poppies represent the sacrifices of the past, but also hope for the future, especially when they frame the face of a smiling child.