Okay, so just a quick little bit of history in regard to the poppy since nothing I've seen here quite explains it.
As well the tradition here in the Great White North and other trivial details.
Poppies are quite common in the Flanders region (Belgium/France). They have seeds that can lay dormant in the ground until disturbed. When graves were dug for the soldiers KIA in Flanders the newly dug graves disturbed these seeds and, without other intervention (ie planting) they started to sprout from the ground. McCrae sat looking out (and lamenting the loss of a friend) on these newly sprouted flowers and wrote the poem.
In Canada we sell fake poppies from the end of October til "Armistice Day" which we call "Rememberance Day." Proceeds go to help veterans.
They are worn on the lapel (As seen in this picture http://en.wikipedia.org/w...morial_Ottawa_2010.jpg
)and although seldom practiced, the guideline is, you pay respects at 11am on 11/11 at a memorial after which you leave your poppy there. With work and school (etc.) it can be difficult. There is a moment of silence at 11am that's "Broadcast" over the air to those who can't make it to a memorial. So go so far as to pull their cars over and stop. In schools an assembly is held in the morning and at 11 a moment of silence.
The Montreal Canadiens have this passage on the wall in their locker room "To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high."
Here in Ontario veterans can get special Vet license plates which feature the poppy. Only vets can obtain these plates.
<message edited by Davwud on Mon, 06/18/12 8:50 AM>