We will remember them. I will remember them. This year, perhaps more than any other in recent history, millions more will remember them.
Thanks in part to a giant art installation at the Tower of London.
Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Reds is a vivid spectacle of ceramic red poppies, each one representing a British soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice 100 years ago.
The poppies, installed around the moat at the famous London landmark, will remain in place until November 12 - one day after Armistice Day - after which they will be cleaned and sent to the homes of the thousands who have purchased them, raising millions for military and veterans charities. Unless Boris Johnson has anything to do with it, as the mayor has called for the poppies to be left even longer, allowing more people to visit. So why has this display, more than any other, captured the hearts and minds of the public?
It’s grand scale? Perhaps? Good advertising? A cynic may say.
Or maybe it’s because during this centenary year, our thoughts have turned more to those who gave their lives, and a central space of remembrance is just what the nation needed.
Not that we all have to make the trip to London. Despite best efforts, one has not been able to visit the site as yet despite working closeby.
But knowing it’s there or seeing a picture in the paper may be enough to spark a memory, a personal reason why one remembers at this time of year.
For me, it’s knowing that I’m the daughter of a war hero. Well, kind of. The day my father enlisted in the Second World War was the day Germany conceded. ‘Hitler heard that Stansfield was on his way so gave up,’ was a story I loved to hear, and relish in retelling.
Seeing the pictures meant my poppy went on a little earlier than usual this year. The standard red version, I hasten to add, after only recently learning of different ones on sale.
There’s the white poppy, worn by those who wish to remember but choose to distance themselves from war and the colour of ‘blood red’, the Scottish poppy and the purple poppy, designed to remember the animal victims of war.
There has been some opposition to these variations but the spokesman from the British Legion got it right when he said: ‘The best way to wear a poppy is to where it with pride.’ Yes sir.