Being in a commonwealth country for the first time, the whole Rememberance Day concept and the idea of wearing poppy flowers was quite new to me. I felt very fortunate that not only my study-abroad period coincide with this public holiday in Canada, even more so as McGill university got to hold this ceremony on its lower campus.
Wikipedia introduces Rememberance Day as
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealthcountries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.
While TimeandDate explains the meaning of wearing red/white poppies
Many people wear artificial poppies on their clothes in the weeks before Remembrance Day. Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died and white poppies campaigns for non-military interventions in conflict situations.
On the morning of Nov 11, I begun my day by randomly bumping into this parade troops when I was strolling along Du Parc. The parade ends up in the lower campus of McGill where thousands of Montrealers gathered, paying tribute to Canadian’s war veterans.