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Memorial/Decoration Day (last Monday of May)

This is an archive of prayers composed for or relevant to Memorial Day in the United States, commemorated on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day is the day previously known as Decoration Day. The first national observance of Decoration Day occurred on 30 May 1868 after having been proclaimed by Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor the Union soldiers who had died in the Civil War. In 1971, Congress changed its observance to the last Monday in May and officially renamed the day “Memorial Day,” a day of remembrance for all members of the U.S. military who fought and died in service.

If you have composed a prayer or prayer-poem for Memorial Day, please share it here.


Looking for something else?

For public readings selected for Memorial Day in the United States, please visit here.

For prayers offered for the well-being of Military Personnel & Veterans, including the Israeli Defense Forces (צה״ל), please visit here.

For prayers composed for, or relevant to, Armistice/Veterans Day in the United States, go here.

For an archive of special readings for the Armistice/Veterans Day, go here.


🆕 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Saul Israel Wisemon on 28 May 1970

🆕 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Abram Simon on 29 May 1929

Memorial Day Prayer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff on 31 May 2021

A Prayer for Remembrance and Peace on Memorial Day, by David Abernethy

Memorial Day Prayer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff on 25 May 2020

Memorial Day Prayer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff on 28 May 2018

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Stephen Roth on 29 May 2014

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld on 23 May 2014

[Prayer for] Memorial Day, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1954)

Prayer for the United States during the Cold War, by Julius Klein (Jewish War Veterans of the USA, 1951)

A Prayer for Peace After War, by Norman Corwin (1945)

“That America’s Heroes Shall Not Have Died in Vain” with a special El Malé Raḥamim prayer for Memorial Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1945)

Memorial Prayer for Those Lost Through Human Strife, by Rabbi Chaplain (Lieutenant) Alexander David Goode (ca. 1943)