Today marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. An estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives and countless others were wounded in the conflict which altered the world’s social and political landscape forever.
Bloomberg employees in London are marking this key moment in world history with a diverse program of activities to recognize the scale and sacrifice of the First World War.
Moment of Reflection: LIGHTS OUT
At 10pm BST tonight, Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London will join thousands of iconic buildings, landmarks and institutions across the UK in a shared moment of reflection as they turn off their lights to mark the outbreak of war. Other participants in the LIGHTS OUT project include the Houses of Parliament, Tate, the Imperial War Museums, Wales Millennium Centre, Old Trafford, the National History Museum and St Pauls’ Cathedral. Individuals are encouraged to take part too, find out more here.
The Tower of London Remembers
In July, 388 Bloomberg employees volunteered a combined total of 1480 hours to help deliver a remarkable commemorative installation, ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, at the Tower of London. 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for every fallen soldier from Britain and the Commonwealth – have been ‘planted’ in the dry moat around the famous landmark, 10,000 of which were put in place by Bloomberg staff.
The final installation, designed by artist Paul Cummins in conjunction with celebrated designer Tom Piper, will be unveiled tomorrow, August 5, one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Each handmade poppy is unique and will be sold to the public to raise funds for six service charities: Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA. Find out more here.
There are an estimated five million veterans in the UK, and a further 20,000 personnel leave the Armed Forces each year. Transition to civilian life can be daunting for the thousands of skilled and experienced individuals who find themselves unemployed after leaving service. Through its partnership with UK charity Hire a Hero, Bloomberg is offering employees the opportunity to mentor an ex-serviceman or woman as they seek civilian employment.
In recognition of the skills, talents and attributes service leavers possess, Bloomberg is also developing an internship program to provide ex-military personnel work experience and potential employment opportunities at Bloomberg, and in the broader private sector.
The UK’s official centenary commemorations includes 14-18 NOW, a rich program of special cultural commissions selected to encourage people to reflect on how World War I has shaped today’s world. Bloomberg Philanthropies is proud to be part of the programme through its support of Dazzle Ship London, a major new public art work created by leading artist Tobias Rehberger who has transformed London’s HMS President, an original WWI warship now docked on the Thames, by covering it entirely in ‘dazzle camouflage’ print.