Our Memorial Day worksheets contain a number of different activities using a dedicated set of vocabulary words related to the Memorial Day observance, including word search, fill in the blanks, scrambled words, word wall flash cards, acrostic poems, crossword puzzles, and more. The collection also includes six different packs of Bingo cards, which can be used during discussions of the topics. Last but not least, a KWHL (know, what, how, learn) diagram is included to help students pick a topic to explore in more depth. This holiday is also referred to as "Decoration Day". During this holiday we remember all of those that gave their life during military service. This is not to be confused with Veterans Day where pay homage to all those who have served the military.
Memorial Day is a U.S. Federal holiday. Its purpose is to remember the men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
More people died fighting during the Civil War than have died in any other conflict in our country's history. Following the Civil War, the first national cemeteries in the U.S. were established.
Use the dictionary entries to answer the questions. Pay attention to the bold terms in the sentences.
Why do you think that it became a national holiday? Why is it an important holiday to observe?
Complete that passage by using the terms that are listed at the bottom of the worksheet.
See if you can rearrange all these terms to make sense of them. Remember they all share a central theme.
Find the words that connect the pair of words provided, changing only one letter per step.
Find all these terms within the matrix of letters: Ceremony, Commemorate, Freedom, Monument, Remember, Respect, Sacrifice, Service, Tradition, Tribute, Unknown, Wreath
A little more advanced terms such as: medical, ceremony, service, commemorate, and monument.
What is Memorial Day?
We have heard about this holiday, but do you know what we celebrate this day? Let's take a look!
In the United States, a national holiday for paying respects to our national heroes is observed every year. Since they gave their life away for our country, the day is known as Memorial Day. It is always celebrated on the last Monday of May each year.
Every individual has their own way of paying respects to the martyrs. This holiday began as a day to honor the fallen soldiers during the Civil War. The first time, this day was officially observed in 1868 when Decoration Day was observed.
In 1967, the name was changed to Memorial Day. Every year, the national concert is held on the lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol. Dressing up in the flag's colors, children wave flags to honor the heroes. Every year, a parade in Ironton, Ohio, is held too!
The History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day is an American public holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May. It honors the gallant men and women of the US military who have fallen in the nation’s wars around the world. Formerly called "Decoration Day," it originated around the time of the American Civil War and was given the status of an official federal holiday in 1971. It’s also considered the unofficial start of the summer season.
Americans primarily commemorate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers, holding memorials and similar gatherings in honor of the war heroes, and participating in different Memorial Day parades held up and down the country.
The Civil War, fought between 1861 and 1865, led to more deaths than any other armed conflict in the history of the United States. So many lives were lost that their burial needed the establishment of America’s first national cemeteries.
Towards the end of the 1860s, people in various towns and cities had started organizing tributes for fallen soldiers during springtime. As a result, decorating the graves with flowers and offering prayers in honor of the departed became common.
While the exact origin of the traditions remains somewhat unclear, local communities around the country have independently held ceremonies in this regard. The earliest recorded event of this kind is said to have been organized by a bunch of former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. This was soon after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865.
More than a hundred years on from this in 1966, the federal government officially declared Waterloo, New York as the hometown of this holiday. It was selected because the event here is an annual occurrence with lots of communities participating. Businesses tend to close during the proceedings and residents as well as visitors adorn the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers. The very first Memorial Day in Waterloo was observed on May 5, 1866.
The Story Behind the History
Memorial Day (formerly "Decoration Day") was initially declared as a date for honoring just the people lost during the American Civil War. However, the US found itself in the middle of another major conflict during World War I. With time, the holiday has evolved to include military personnel martyred in other battles as well.
Today, we observe this holiday to honor American soldiers who have died in any war. Aside from the Civil War and the two World Wars, recognition is also given to those who laid down their lives during the Vietnam War, Korean War, and the relatively recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For many decades, May 30 was the official date of Memorial Day. This was selected by General John A. Logan for the original Decoration Day. Logan led an organization of Northern Civil War veterans and actively campaigned for a nationwide date of remembrance of fallen soldiers.
In 1968, however, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by the Congress. According to it, the last Monday of May was to be observed as Memorial Day. The intention behind this move was to create a three-day weekend for federal employees and military personnel. The change came into effect in 1971 and has been followed ever since. In the same legislation, Memorial Day was recognized as an official public holiday.
Common Related Traditions
Every year on Memorial Day, various events are held in honor of fallen military personnel across the United States. The achievements of veterans are also celebrated during these ceremonies. Moreover, heavily attended events and parades are common in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.