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Memorial Day {Holiday Helps}

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 dozens of resources to help your family celebrate Memorial Day!

Further Investigation

Memorial Day
The history from The History Channel.

The Origins of Memorial Day
A nice explanation of how Memorial Day came to be an official holiday. Provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Today in History: May 30
Another more extensive history provided by the Library of Congress.

Understanding the Difference Between Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day
Great explanation from USO.org.

The Tomb of the Unknowns
“Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God.” Official site at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Flower of Remembrance
The significance of the red poppies you sometimes see at this time of year.

The Origin of Taps
Background taken from U.S. Army Military District of Washington.

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.” The National Memorial Day Concert on PBS premieres live on the Sunday evening before Memorial Day. Most stations air the concert at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT.


Guidelines for Display of the Flag
From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Flag Folding
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.

American Flag on a Pencil Craft
Or create a flag to wave with this template from DLTK.

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.

Fireworks in a Jar
Create your own fireworks via a safe science experiment!

Patriotic Dessert
Super-easy version of the edible flag.

Memorial Day {Holiday Helps}

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.

Memorial Day: Its Celebration, Spirit, and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse with a Non-sectional Anthology of the Civil War edited by Robert Haven Schauffler
Compilation of prose and verse fitting for the holiday.

H is for Honor

H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet
Devin Scillian is the son of a career military officer. He has written several books we recommend. This would be one of them. A look into the life of a military family for younger readers.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Memorial Day Lesson and Craft
Wonderful lesson plan based on a story from the book of Joshua where students make memorial stones. From Ministry-to-Children.com.

Memorial Day
Lesson plan from ReadWriteThink where students learn more about a veteran and use that information to create a timeline, picture book, or other presentation.

Revolutionary War Memorial
Lesson plan from EduPlace has students use the Korean War and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials to design a memorial to honor Revolutionary War heroes.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Coloring Pages
Armed forces coloring pages.

Pledge of Allegiance
2-page coloring page from ClassBrain.

Memorial Day Bugler
Coloring page from Crayola.

Statue of Liberty
Coloring page from ClassBrain.

Memorial Day Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Related Resources at DIY Homeschooler:

Flag Day: A Unit Study

Flag Day celebrates the adoption of the United States flag on June 14, 1777. Unit resources.

Our Flag {Free Download}

“Our Flag” is a free 52-page download from the Joint Committee on Printing covering the history and the customs of the United States flag.

Camping Unit Study {Free}

It’s summer. And what can be more fun (at least for the young people in your life) than camping! Free camping unit study.

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