The poppy has been the symbol of Remembrance Day since 1921 when sales of the bright red poppy raised funds for veterans of war.
There is some etiquette involved in wearing a poppy. While most wear the poppy on the left close to the heart, it is not a stringent rule only a respectful rule. The poppy, after all, is meant to symbolize the blood that was spilled on the battlefields and is worn in memory of those who died in both World Wars as well as the Korean War.
Some have gotten into hot water for wearing or not wearing a poppy. A columnist appearing on a political panel was censured by a viewer for wearing her poppy on the right side. The Legion says wearing it on the right is not an insult, although some folks are sticklers for the proper etiquette. You will see most people wearing their poppy on the left, although just wearing one is enough of a sign of respect.
Chinese officials, in 2010, asked British Prime Minister David Cameron to remove his poppy but he resisted. It appears that the Chinese are especially sensitive to the poppy as they lost two Opium Wars with Britain in the 18th Century allowing the trade of opium across their borders.
There are some groups who sell white poppies as a symbol of peace rather than war and this has caused controversy because the Royal Canadian Legion has a trademark issue. Some feel it does not show respect for those who died in battle. In the end it doesn’t really matter where you wear it — as long as you do.
Remembrance Day is to honour those who served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. The moment of remembrance begins with the bugling of the Last Post immediately before 11 a.m. This symbolizes the end of hostilities which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of 1918, when the Germans signed the Armistace.
Buy a poppy and wear it.