A friend was in London recently, so, before leaving decided to go to The Tower of London to see the ceramic red poppy moat. It was crowded at all the different levels from Tower Bridge Station where she was, right to the moat. She said it worth the visit. What, I asked, made it so? She thought for a few moments then said,

The ceramic poppies were much like other pottery craft work. It was being there in what is usually a bustling and noisy place and seeing crowds of people of all nationalities, hushed and appearing to be deep in their own thoughts, or quietly sharing with others. Everyone there respecting the sensitivity of the occasion“.



  1. Yes, I would agree with her. I have had a similar experience in a very different place… and though it was one night in the 1980s, the experience has stayed with me as a favorite memory to this day.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience Shimon. I was racking my memory banks for a similar experience. I am not sure that I have experienced a crowd impact in the same manner.

    I have memories of being in a crowd awaiting the bells, (chimes) of Big Ben at Westminster on New Year’s Eve, or, in Scots speak, Hogmanay. Then there was an expectation of the event to come that was palpable. I can see similarities here, the emotion was different.

  3. What a wonderful answer, now I wish I had made time to go and see them. I think the visual aspect of all those individual poppies representing individual soldiers who had their lives cut short must have been very powerful and

  4. Hi Snowbird,

    The poppies covering the moat were/are the focal point for the gathering. I happened to be in Princes Street in Edinburgh where the gardens were carpeted with small crosses with poppies, (not ceramic ones) where people quietly moved through at their leisure, perhaps finding a relative’s regiment, maybe donating to the poppy appeal and obtaining a named, personal symbol in one of the gardens. It struck me that names of loved ones may have appeared who may not have been on any roll call elsewhere, thereby, putting to rest ‘issues’ from war time events.

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