As I was putting together these Memorial Day printables, I realized I didn’t know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It turns out that Veterans Day was established to as a way to primarily thank living military veterans. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in service to their country, particularly those who died in battle. In the United States, Memorial Day always comes on the last Monday in the month of May.
You might also like our Memorial Day Poems for Kids.
Memorial Day Worksheets
Memorial Day Poem
Red poppies are traditionally worn and given on Memorial Day. It was written in 1915 by World War I Colonel John McCrae. McCrae’s poem had a huge impact on two women, Anna E. Guerin of France and Moina Michael. Both worked to initiate the sale of artificial poppies to help orphans and others left destitute by the war.
There are some interesting customs that go along with Memorial Day. For example, the American flag has special significance on this day. It is raised to the top of the flag pole and then lowered to half-staff until noon. The half-staff position is in memory of those who died in service, but the flag is later raised to symbolize that the U.S. will continue to rise up.
Other countries celebrate their own versions of Memorial Day, too. In Canada, the UK, and other commonwealth countries, it’s held in November and is called Remembrance Day. Australia and New Zeland have ANZAC Day held on April 25th. There’s also an International Workers’ Memorial day that is held all over the world on April 28th to remember workers who have been harmed in the line of their jobs.
You should also check out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for their free Veterans Day Teacher’s Guide.