In all Commonwealth countries, today is called Remembrance Day. It is a day to remember those who have fought and fallen, protecting the commonwealth and all of its nations. It is a day of paying respects.
In the month of November, Canadians wear poppies on their lapels. These poppies, which are purchased for whatever donation you can make, are a representation of our acknowledgement and respect for those who have fought, died, or are still fighting overseas, for us and our Country. The money earned from these poppies goes towards various Veterans Affairs and Canadian Legion programs.
Why the poppy? I'll show you: (click for a larger version)
To quote Wiki:
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae is popularly believed to have written it on 3 May 1915 (see 1915 in poetry), after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.
Canadians wear the poppy, that flower that bloomed over the graves of those who died fighting for our Country, as a sign of respect.
It is only in recent years that I have begun to understand the magnitude of this day. I have begun to feel the sadness, and the angst, and the pride, gratitude, and power of this day. This day becomes so much more important as you realize the sacrifice made by those who have fought, and still do fight...
So... let us observe a moment of silence. Not just for Canadians who have fought- but for all who have, and continue to do so. Let us honour them, thank them, grieve them, and be proud of them.