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“Memorial Day”



Pre-Listening Question

Do you have holiday traditions in your culture that celebrate or remember people who have passed away? If so, describe these topics:

  1. What is the name of the holiday or event?
  2. How do people celebrate this day or period of time?
  3. What specific foods or activities take place during this event?

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

celebration (noun): an event or gathering to mark a special occasion, such as a holiday or achievement

  • Our family had a big celebration for my sister’s graduation.
  • The town held a parade as part of the Fourth of July celebration.

honor (verb): to show respect or admiration for someone or something

  • We honor our veterans by attending the Memorial Day ceremony.
  • The community decided to honor the local hero with a plaque in the town square.

memorial (noun or adjective): serving as a remembrance or tribute to someone or something

  • The park was built as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the war.
  • We visited the memorial garden to pay our respects to our loved ones.

reflect (verb): to think deeply or ponder about something

  • On Memorial Day, we reflect on the sacrifices made by our soldiers.
  • After the ceremony, I took a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday.

tradition (noun): a custom or practice that is passed down from generation to generation

  • It’s a tradition in our family to have a barbecue on Memorial Day.
  • Lighting candles on the graves has become a tradition in our community.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.

Conversation Questions


  1. Do other countries have holidays similar to Memorial Day? Why or why not?
  2. What are some examples of holidays in other countries that commemorate fallen soldiers or honor the deceased?
  3. How do the traditions and customs of Memorial Day in the United States compare to similar holidays in other countries?


    1. Explore the cultural and historical contexts that have led different countries to establish holidays similar to Memorial Day. How do these contexts influence the significance and observance of such holidays?
    2. Discuss the role of national memory and collective remembrance in shaping the observance of similar holidays in different countries. How do these holidays reflect national narratives and identities?
    3. Reflect on the global implications of commemorating the sacrifices of soldiers and honoring the deceased. How do holidays like Memorial Day contribute to international understanding and solidarity?

    Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

    The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

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