Today is ANZAC Day in NZ, in fact I guess at the time of writing this it is nearly finished in NZ. I guess to put it simply, it is like the NZ and Australian equivalent of Remembrance Day. Poppies are sold by the RSA, dawn parades are held, poppies are laid at Cenotaphs throughout the country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day more information can be found there…
I have been involved myself in parades since I was probably about 8, first with St John Cadets. As an 8 year I don’t really much of it, all it seemed to me then was a bit of an annoyance getting up so early on a day off. I do remember learning the story about Simpson and his Donkey though, and still remember this story.
I then joined ATC and continued participating in these parades, however they seemed to take on more signifance then. I remember one year in particular standing at Rest on Arms Reversed at Cenotaphs, for along time. Others are coming to the Cenotaphs to place their poppies and pay their respects, I felt like I was stood there really representing those soldiers who died in Gallipoli and in following conflicts. While in ATC we used to then go to the RSA afterwards. While there everyone stands and the Ode of Remembrance is said.
Also you have the returning soldiers who tell their stories to you as you are walking around. They always were pleased to see us there and thankful for our participation in the parade.
The day was always emotional for all of those participating and remembering. Today loads of Australians and NZers still travel to Gallipoli to participate in Dawn parades there.