That is British and Colonial service men who lost their lives during World War I. That does not include civilian casualties, nor does it include the Americans, Germans, Russians, French, Belgians, Italians, Japanese, Arabs or Turks to name but a few.
We visited the Tower of London poppies which were still being planted out. There is more information on this link. The poppies have long since sold out.
There has been some controversy between those who see this art work as beautifully poignant and a way of marking our sorrow at the loss of so much human life and those who think that the work does not go far enough in recognising the horror and brutality of war. For the latter, the work is too tame: where are the skulls, the broken bodies, the dismembered limbs, the disfigured lives? They may have a point – somewhere we need to be honest about the terrible suffering that was, and is, real human experience. In that respect, this art installation is no more than a start.
However, judging by the huge crowds that were quiet and very orderly, I would say that the experience of seeing even this drop in the ocean was thought-provoking for many.
Many a memorial has the phrase “Lest we forget”.
Lest we forget their names.
Lest we forget how terrible war is.
New every morning are your mercies, O Lord, and you renew your blessing to us each day. Help us to remember your goodness and love towards all human kind. As we remember your mercy, help us to strive for peace in our thoughts and words, in our actions and our lives, in our country and in all the world. We pray in the power of your good and holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of peace. Amen.