It honors the 58,150 Australian and the 16,130 New Zealanders who died during WWI.
Poppies symbolise remembrance. The story goes that, following
one of the bloodiest battles of World War I, in the fields of
Flanders in western Europe,when the ground was completely churned
up and muddied, thousands of red poppies sprang up. The seeds had
lain dormant in the soil and, after being aerated with the churning
of the soil from the soldiers' boots and fertilised with their
blood, the poppies grew abundantly, springing forth new life from
This is why poppies are worn on ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day (commemorating Armistice Day) and other solemn occasions when we remember the soldiers who fought or even gave their lives for our freedom.
Another reason poppies came to such prominence in association with World War I is because of how they were immortalised in that most famous poem of WWI, In Flanders Fields, written by John McCrae. This poem is spoken at memorial services everywhere on both ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.