http://www.google.co.uk/ has a nice logo up today. For those who don't know, the 11th of November is when Britain remembers its war dead (and I think Canada does too?). It marks the armistice of the First World War, which happened at 11am on 11/11 1918.
The poppy is the symbol of this in rememberance of the poppies that grew up in the French fields as they recovered from WW1. It was inspired by the poem In Flander's Fields by John Mcrae in 1915. http://www.poppy.org.uk/About_Poppy_Appeal/History.html if you want to read the text of the poem (it's very moving). Most people pay Ã‚Â£1 to buy a small paper poppy to wear on the day, and the funds go to The Royal British Legion, which supports veterans.
He was 24 years old, and a Captain in The Royal Sussex Regiment, British Army, attached 10th Parachute Battalion during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 19 September 1944 at Arnhem, the Netherlands, Captain Queripel displayed the highest standard of gallantry during the whole of a period of nine hours of bitter and confused fighting. Under heavy fire he carried a wounded sergeant to the regimental aid post and was himself wounded in the face. Later, when it became necessary to withdraw he insisted, despite the protests of his men, in remaining behind to cover their withdrawal, armed only with his pistol and a few hand grenades. This was the last occasion on which he was seen.
That guy was a bad ass. The VC has also been awarded to the American Unknown Soldier, and the Medal of Honor to the British Unknown Warrior.