The year 2018 marks the centennial of the end of World War I.
Known at the time as the Great War, the five-year struggle changed Europe and the world forever.
To recognize and celebrate the centennial, the Tower of London is hosting a stunning event called “Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers.”
The eight-night event in London, which runs from November 4-11, fills the Tower’s moat area with thousands of brightly lit torches to commemorate the many people who died during the war.
The final night, November 11, is Remembrance Day in the U.K. and the anniversary of the day the war was declared over “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”
The ceremony at the Tower of London begins at dusk, with the torches going from 5-9 p.m. each night.
First, a bugler plays “The Last Post.” This bugle call is traditionally played at military funerals or in honor of the war dead.
Then, the yeoman warders begin the process of lighting the torches.
Yeoman warders, better known by their nickname “Beefeaters,” are the traditional guards of the Tower of London and of the crown jewels. They also offer tours of the Tower to visitors.
Throughout the U.K. and the Commonwealth, many people wear red poppies on Remembrance Day, recalling a line from the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” by the Canadian John McCrae: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row.”
There are other events commemorating the end of World War I in the U.K. and beyond.
In Washington, DC the Smithsonian Museums unveiled several new exhibits about World War I that opened on April 6, 2018, the anniversary of the day the United States entered the war.
Meanwhile, in France, several events are being held the weekend of November 11, including a speech by President Emmanuel Macron at the Arc de Triomphe and a military tribute at the Hôtel National des Invalides.