You may notice that someone has a red flower pinned on their clothes and you may notice that there are tables for fundraising or distribution of flowers here and there
What's going on?
November 11 is a federal public holiday in Canada with the exception of some provinces, it is called Memorial Day or Armistice Day, where armies ceased to fight in World War I on November 11 at 11 am in 1918.
About 100,000 Canadian soldiers were killed in World War I and II.
The Canadian flag is hoisted on government buildings that day and people stand two minutes silently for the lives of soldiers who died in the war.
Red poppy has long been associated with fighting armies in Europe and flowers often covered mass graves that the battles left during World War I have immortalized Canadian poet and soldier John McRae poppy with a well-known poem.
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row… ”
In the days before the first commemoration, a US war secretary sold poppy flowers to friends to raise money for veterans.
Since then, a fundraising campaign, known as Poppy Appeal, has been held every year.
1921 was the year the British Royal Corps was founded.
The Canadian Legion, formed in 1925, continued this association.
Poppy was placed on the left lapel near the heart to acknowledge the wartime sacrifice of soldiers.
Donations from the sale of flowers were collected to give to the warriors to the injured and now the proceeds of the donations go to fund the needs of the veterans.
Poppy remains a permanent symbol to perpetuate the sacrifice of those who sacrificed their lives to their homelands.
You can stop wondering now and maybe put a red flower on your clothes, too.