Poppies are used to symbolize peace, death and sleep. John McCrae, a Canadian surgeon, wrote a famous poem, "In Flanders Field," that mentions the poppies growing in the field where trench warfare of World War I took place.
The red poppy is worn and displayed in many western nations as a symbol of remembrance of those people who lost their lives during war. This tradition began shortly after the tragedies of World War I.
The significance of the white poppy is also related to war. In 1933, it was introduced as a symbol by an organization seeking peace and the end of all wars.