There are many things I take for granted and make universal assumptions about. For me as a Canadian, wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day, November 11th, is something that I assumed every allied country from World War 1 would have as a tradition. I also assumed that everyone would know the poem by John McCrae, In Flanders Fields. Here in France, the French do not wear a poppy but rather the blue cornflower is their symbol for Armistice Day. In fact, it is the Americans, British and Canadians who have fully adopted the poppy tradition. I understand the New Zealanders and Australians have access to buy the poppy but only a small percentage of the population have incorporated it.
For the French the cornflower represents peace; however for the Americans, Canadians and those from the British Isles there are controversial explanations for the wearing of the poppy.
I have never bought into the controversy - to me wearing the poppy is a symbol of remembrance and a promise to strive for a peaceful world. When I hear about one group or another believing that it represents war: all soldiers, all wars and only that, I don't care to argue with them. I do not believe the symbolism to be that single minded. Then there are those who want a white poppy and others a purple. Interestingly the poppy comes in all colours.
It is what it is for you and you alone. If someone wants to know why I wear a red poppy, my answer has already been stated. With that, I will not bother to try to convince anyone - follow your heart when it comes to wearing a symbol or not . . . but only remember and do not forget that others died fighting for their country's ideas of freedom and many of us have benefitted from these losses.