• May 2016 •

Write an Editorial in Honor of Memorial Day

On the last Monday of May, Americans observe Memorial Day, a federal holiday that honors the men and women who died while in service to the country. Originally called Decoration Day, this day of remembrance began at the end of the Civil War when communities set aside a day to decorate the graves of those who had died during the war. Memorial Day was first officially observed at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. After World War I, the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to paying tribute to Americans who died in any war. In 2000, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed. This act asks that at 3 P.M. on Memorial Day, Americans pause for a minute to demonstrate their respect for the servicemen and servicewomen who have died.

Write an editorial to your school or local newspaper in which you discuss the importance of Memorial Day. Provide a brief overview of the history of the day. Also include tips on how people can observe the holiday. Using search engines, find suggestions about how to celebrate Memorial Day and honor fallen soldiers. Your suggestions may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Attending a local parade
  • Flying the flag at half-mast
  • Participating in the "National Moment of Remembrance"

Once you have completed your editorial, share it with your classmates.