Today is Remembrance Day, a memorial holiday for Commonwealth nations, such as Canada, Australia, and the UK to honour the lives lost during battle. Many citizens show their support for the soldiers by wearing a single red poppy.
But artist Ted Harrison chose to do more than just wear a red poppy. In November 2011, he created an art installation using 5000 red poppies at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. From the ground level, it doesn’t appear much more than some poppies scattered on the floor. Up above, the poppies form an image of three child soldiers.
Ted intentionally created the 30 foot installation to highlight the the involvement of innocent children in wars. Although it is consider illegal, according to the UN, it is estimated that 300 000 children under the age of 18 worldwide have been forced to take up arms and become soldiers. And many of them have been either killed, wounded or traumatized for life.
The red poppy has become a popular symbol for Remembrance Day ever since John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields was published. It is a fitting symbol as many poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields. The red colour is also quite fitting, symbolizing all the blood that was bled in the wars.
Lest we forget.
- Poppy Appeal (caughtinthemiddleman.wordpress.com)
- Wear your poppy with peaceful intent | Ted Harrison (guardian.co.uk)