London Remembers Veterans Day with Sea of Red Poppies

888,246 Ceramic Poppies "planted" to honor Britain's World War One casualties.
7:27 | 11/11/14

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Transcript for London Remembers Veterans Day with Sea of Red Poppies
But the doing its job. And in enlightening. We remember them. We will ultimately. Do you. Okay. Earlier today. A dramatic sea of red around the Tower of London as England honored there ward and 880246. Ceramic poppies placed around the towers note. A thirteen year old army cadet planting the very last popping in fact in that a lone bugler playing the last post marking the beginning. Of a moment of silence. Someone is gonna we're chief foreign affairs correspondent Terry Moran. For more on that standing by in London and Terry a lot of symbolism this afternoon. Absolutely Dan and what what a scene that is that that you've just shown that the viewers can see. This memorial. 100 years after the beginning of the first World War II the eight high. 188000. Take that number on board for a minute war dead. Great Britain and her colonies at that time and of the war dead since then. It's one of those moments this memorial where were aesthetic beauty matches them moment and it's really captured the imagination of the British people. The British people. Like the American people in this ceremony that we just saw at the Pentagon. Have been reminded over this past decade of wars. Just how high the cost it is how hard these struggles are how. In some sense senseless. War can be and this memorial that's outside of the Tower of London has become a gigantic. Brawl. Four tourists and four citizens. Of the United Kingdom to com. And remember and and think about the cost of war what a beautiful thing it is what a profound thing is it's really it's really something else. And this year being the 100. Anniversary of the start of World War I. Terry I want to ask you why the poppy. Well the pop B Dan has become and was right. During World War I the symbol of the dead and it's because in the fields of of Flanders and of eastern France. The were so many were killed the there was so much linemen the soil apparently. From the destruction of the soil from the dead the decomposition. Of animals and people. That the only plant that could grow quickly. Was the poppy. And so to the soldiers of the time and and to that medics and others who saw those battlefields it was an eerie and striking. Sight to see these fields read the first thing growing up in that hellish blasted environment. Where that was the red poppy and that became very quickly. The symbol of remembrance ironic since the poppy and many other contexts is that symbol of forgetfulness but after World War I. It became the symbol of remembrance. Many British people Wear it in their look pal around these days. There's a very famous home written by British soldier who. Died in that war I remember memorizing it as a kid that begins in Flanders fields. The poppies blow between the crosses row on row that mark our place. Home in the voice of the dead. Asking to be remembered and that's really what what the British people do with that poppy. Also say that that. Then. The moment of remembrance has become also a political moment for for Britain at a time. Questioning what it means to be. British time of it changed in the population from immigration. Change in values some of the people who embrace the poppy. I guess in some ways like some of the people embrace the American flag in their lapel in the United States. Are doing so not just to remember but to make a statement about there identification their closeness with the greatness of the British tradition. But for most people it's a simple act. Of remembrance beautifully captured. With that thirteen year old army cadet planting the last of the 888000. Poppies. It is a spot on description that you offer their Terry and that planning started back in July and what will then become of all of those 888000. 246. Poppies. You know it was it's an installation art installation and artist that his name's Tom Mullen. Came up with the idea it's called blood swept lands and seas of red and it was meant to commemorate this 100. Anniversary of the beginning of World War I and then be taken down. The poppies were to be auctioned off one at a time with proceeds going to charity but it has become such a sensation. Such a point of contact. Through the beauty really of the conception and execution of this installation. Point of contact between the present and the past for the British people that they through popular acclamation have insisted that it remain. Up around the Tower of London and it will for some time the the officials seeing just how much people want. To pay their respects in this way by going and seeing this this moron so it's gonna be there for awhile and it has raised money. To take care veterans. You know we celebrate in the United States Memorial Day our remembrance of our war dead. In May. November 11 for us is veterans day where we honor all veterans and that actually just has to do with are. Calamitous slaughter in our history was the civil war and Memorial Day our remembrance of our war dead comes out of that. World War I as you know was just a catastrophe. For all of your full Britain for all of a whole generation of young men wiped out. They in seemingly meaningless. Carnage and so November 11 the day that World War I ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A kind of desperate grasp for numeral logical meaning by the people who ended the war after four years of senseless slaughter. November 11 has become their day to remember their war dead and it looks like around the Tower of London this moment of remembrance will be extend. A moment of remembrance and reflection. Terry thank you so much or chief foreign affairs correspondent Terry Moran in London Terry thank you. And of course you can keep opt. Hole with all of the events on this veterans day right here by downloading the ABC news happened star in this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm down that there are New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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