Barbara P
Barbara P

Commemorative Speech - Writing Guide, Outline & Examples

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commemorative speech

Ready to explore the world of commemorative speech writing? Don't worry, it's not as tricky as it sounds! 

In this guide, we'll make it super easy for you. We've got all the tips and examples you need to create perfect commemorative speeches for any occasion. Whether it's for your school project, a graduation party, or a touching tribute to someone special, we've got your back. 

Let's jump in and discover the secrets to crafting speeches that leave a lasting impression. 

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  • 1. Commemorative Speech Definition 
  • 2. Commemorative Speech Outline
  • 3. How to Write a Commemorative Speech
  • 4. Types of Commemorative Speeches
  • 5. Commemorative Speech Examples
  • 6. Commemorative Speech Topics

Commemorative Speech Definition 

A commemorative (or ceremonial or epideictic) speech is defined as an address of honor delivered to celebrate or praise the value of a person, group, place, event, idea, or institute. 

This type of speech writing is not just verbal praise or appreciation. It is more of a celebration and acknowledgment.

The Importance of Commemorative Speeches

Commemorative speeches aren't just words thrown together; they serve a significant purpose in various aspects of life.

  • Commemorative speeches honor people, events, and ideas that hold significant value.
  • They help us remember history, culture, and achievements, preserving them for future generations.
  • Commemorative speeches inspire and connect people emotionally, fostering a sense of unity.
  • These speeches offer closure and healing, particularly during funerals or memorials.
  • They provide a platform for celebrating achievements and milestones.
  • Through commemorations, we ensure that important moments in our lives are never forgotten, leaving a lasting legacy.

Commemorative Speech Outline

Here's a simple commemorative speech outline example template: 

I. Introduction
A. Attention-grabber (Story, quote, personal observation)
B. Type of speech (Commemorative)
C. Purpose (To pay tribute or honor someone or something special)

II. Personal Connection
A. Share your personal feelings, thoughts, and emotions
B. Connect with the audience on a personal level

III. Historical Context and Significance
A. Provide context for the commemoration
B. Explain the importance of the event or person being commemorated
C. Highlight their impact on the audience's lives

IV. Anecdotes and Personal Stories
A. Share relevant anecdotes, stories, or personal experiences
B. Illustrate the significance of the event or person
C. Use personal stories to connect with the audience emotionally

V. Main Points (Rest of the Speech)
A. Discuss the person's achievements or the event's significance
B. Elaborate on their impact and influence
C. Expand on the themes introduced in the introduction

VI. Conclusion
A. Summarize the main points
B. Reiterate the importance of the subject
C. Leave the audience with a thought-provoking message or a call to action

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How to Write a Commemorative Speech

Writing a commemorative speech is a special way to pay tribute to an important event or someone's life. Here are some simple steps to help you write one:

Step 1: Start with an Attention-Grabbing Opener

Your speech needs to capture the audience's attention from the very beginning. So start your commemorative speech with a compelling story, a relevant quote, a rhetorical question, or a surprising fact. The goal is to make the audience want to listen.

Step 2: Introduce the Occasion

Clearly state the reason for your speech. Let the audience know what or who you are commemorating and why this is a significant occasion. This sets the stage for your speech's focus.

Step 3: Acknowledge Challenges or Difficulties

If the subject of your commemoration faced any difficulties in their life or in being remembered, this is the place to address those challenges. It adds depth to your speech and shows resilience.

Step 4: Express Gratitude

Thank the audience for their presence and appreciation. Also, acknowledge any individuals or organizations who have contributed to making this commemoration possible.

Step 5: Include Personal Observations

Share personal stories, anecdotes, or observations that connect you to the subject or event. This personal touch makes your speech unique and relatable.

Step 6: Pay Tribute to the Subject & Highlight Their Achievements

This is the heart of your speech. Express your admiration, respect, and appreciation for the person or the significance of the event you're commemorating. Explain why they are deserving of this honor.
Dive into the subject's significant accomplishments, qualities, or contributions. Use specific examples or stories to illustrate their impact on others and the world.

Step 7: Connect to the Audience

Relate the subject's life or the event to the audience's experiences and values. Show why this commemoration matters to them and how it can resonate with their lives.

Step 8: Address Why It's Important

Explain the broader importance of this commemoration. Discuss the lasting influence, lessons learned, or the impact the subject or event has had on society, culture, or individuals.

Step 9: Conclude with a Powerful Message

Summarize the significance of the commemoration and leave the audience with a memorable and thought-provoking message. This could be a call to action, a reflection on the subject's legacy, or a meaningful quote.

Step 10: Use Visual Aids (if necessary)

Visual aids like photographs, videos, or props can enhance your speech by providing a visual element to support your words. Use them when appropriate, but ensure they add value.

Types of Commemorative Speeches

Here's a table outlining different types of commemorative speeches:

Type of Commemorative Speech



These speeches honor and celebrate the lives of individuals who have passed away. They often reflect on the person's character, achievements, and the impact they have on others.


These speeches are given to pay homage to people who have made significant contributions to a particular cause, or society. They acknowledge and highlight their achievements and positive influence.

Awards Acceptance Speeches

Delivered by recipients of awards, these speeches express gratitude. They often discuss the honor's significance and the hard work that led to the recognition.

Inaugural Speeches

These speeches mark the beginning of a significant event, project, or term. They set the tone and outline the goals and vision for what is to come.

Retirement Speeches

Given in honor of someone retiring from a profession or career. These speeches express appreciation for their years of service, share anecdotes, and wish them well in their retirement.

Graduation Speeches

Delivered at graduation ceremonies, these speeches celebrate the achievements of the graduating class. They offer words of encouragement and inspiration for their future endeavors.

Anniversary Speeches

These speeches mark milestones in personal or professional life, such as wedding anniversaries, company anniversaries, or historical events. They reflect on the journey and the significance of the occasion.

Commemorative Speech Examples

Here are some famous commemorative speeches by renowned personalities: 

Commemorative Speech on a Famous Person

Let’s take a look at a short commemorative speech example:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, we gather to commemorate the life and legacy of one of the most revered figures in American history, Abraham Lincoln. Often referred to as "The Great Emancipator," Lincoln's impact on our nation and the world transcends the confines of his era.

Abraham Lincoln was a beacon of hope during one of the darkest periods in American history, the Civil War. His leadership and unwavering commitment to preserving the Union and abolishing slavery defined his legacy. The Emancipation Proclamation, a landmark moment in history, proclaimed that all enslaved people in the Confederate states were to be set free, marking a pivotal step toward equality and justice.

But Lincoln was more than just a political figure; he was a man of deep empathy, compassion, and humility. His words, immortalized in speeches like the Gettysburg Address, remind us of the principles upon which our nation was founded: "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Abraham Lincoln's life teaches us the enduring value of courage, integrity, and the relentless pursuit of justice. As we commemorate this remarkable man, let us remember his indomitable spirit and his commitment to a nation where freedom and equality reign. In his honor, may we continue to strive for a better world, one that reflects the ideals he holds dear. Abraham Lincoln's legacy lives on, inspiring generations with his wisdom, strength, and hope for a more just society.

Commemorative Speech Examples PDF

To provide you with tangible insights into commemorative speeches, we've provided free commemorative speech examples in this section. Let’s take a look:

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Commemorative Speech Topics

Choosing the right topic is essential for speech writing. Here are some interesting commemorative speech topics, take a look:

  • A tribute to a loving spouse
  • A tribute to caring parents
  • The sacrifice of a teacher 
  • A perfect example of human courage 
  • A human who overcame a challenge 
  • Celebrating Islamic values
  • Praising the women’s rights movement in the United States
  • Respect makes any relationship better
  • Hard work is the only shortcut to success.
  • Teamwork improves the performance of organizations.
  • Leadership is an innate ability.

Writing an inspiring speech can be tricky. But once you know what you have to write and how to structure it, the process becomes easier.

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Barbara P


Barbara P

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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