If you are looking for resources to help your family celebrate Memorial Day this year, we can help!
Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, originally honored those lost in the Civil War. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill making Memorial Day an official legal holiday to remember all of the men and women who have died in the course of serving our country.
Here are ideas to help you make this Memorial Day a special day of remembrance.
The Origins of Memorial Day (.pdf)
A nice explanation of how Memorial Day came to be an official holiday. Provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Today in History: May 30
Another more extensive history provided by the Library of Congress.
The story of the red poppies you see this time of year and their significance. From the official Veterans of Foreign Wars site.
The Tomb of the Unknowns
“Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God” Official site at Arlington National Cemetery.
Background, words, and audio files for download.
How to Observe Memorial Day
“…Gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime…. Let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude, — the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” — General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868. Ideas for putting the “Memorial” back in Memorial Day.
National Moment of Remembrance
“The National Moment of Remembrance asks Americans to pause wherever they are, whatever they are doing, for a moment of respectful silence on Memorial Day at 3 p.m., local time, to honor those who died in the service of our nation.” Observe a moment of remembrance to show respect for those who have died securing our freedom.
National Memorial Day Concert
“The concert is broadcast live on PBS and live via American Forces Network to the nearly one million American service men and women, Department of Defense civilians and their families overseas, stationed at bases in 175 countries as well as 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea.” To be broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Sunday, May 26th, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET.
Memorial Day Quiz
Ready to test your knowledge of the history and origins of Memorial Day? Try this interactive quiz from the Discovery Channel.
A lesson in the proper way to fold the American flag.
Parade of Colors
Make wands to wave for Memorial Day. Instructions with background history information.
Medal of Honor Coloring Book
Color and learn about the Medal of Honor, its history, recipients, and those who have presented the award.
Creating a Memorial Day Poster Poem
Great activity from EduPlace.
The Wall by Eve Bunting
From a favorite author, this picture book tells of a young boy and his father’s trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to find his grandfather’s name. Simple, but speaks to the heart.
Units & Lesson Plans
Special Days and Holidays: Memorial Day
Speeches, Internet field trips, literature, and the military bands from Love to Learn Place.
Patriotic Holidays Sample
Sample Memorial Day lesson plan all ready to use.
In Flanders Field
Free copywork set download (scroll down).
Flags Lined Notebooking Paper
Primary-lined paper from Homeschool Helper.
Memorial Day Notebooking Pages
Free 14-page download from NotebookingPages.com that includes a nicely decorated set of blank notebooking pages for copywork, narration, or otherwise documenting Memorial Day thoughts and studies. (Free registration required.)