Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 30th, this year. And while the long weekend is usually packed with family fun and summer activities, it’s also important to reflect on the real meaning and history of Memorial Day and honor the military members who have fought and died for our freedom.
We owe a lot of our brave soldiers. Because of them and their sacrifices, we are able to live and work in peace and enjoy our day-to-day privileges. Here is a list of Memorial Day quotes I have compiled to help you honor the fallen heroes as well as express gratitude in the way they truly deserve.
- “We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.” —Theodore Roosevelt
- “Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as best he can, the same cause—honor to him, less only than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.” —Abraham Lincoln
- “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” —Aristotle
- “Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.” —Jennifer M. Granholm
- “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would be also free.” —Rosa Parks
- “Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” —Barack Obama
- “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
- “The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” —Thomas Campbell
- “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” —Calvin Coolidge
- “I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” —Bob Riley
- “What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.” —Christopher Gadsden
- “If words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.” —Ronald Reagan
- “There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.” —Nick Lampson
- “Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.” —Mary Roach
- “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” —Adlai Stevenson II
- “We take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” —Cynthia Ozick
- “The legacy of heroes—the memory of a great name, and the inheritance of a great example.” —Benjamin Disraeli
- “This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.” —Tamra Bolton
- "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death." —Sun Tzu
- "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." —John F. Kennedy
- “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” —Bob Dylan
- “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” —Nathan Hale
- “As we set today aside to honor and thank our veterans, let us be mindful that we should do this every day of the year and not just one.” —Beth Pennington
- “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” —Joseph Campbell
- “Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory there would be no civilization, no future.” —Elie Wiesel
- “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” —Arthur Ashe
- “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” —G.K. Chesterton
- “A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.” —Frederick Douglass
- “I had reasoned this out in my mind: There was one of two things I had a right to—liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other.” —Harriet Tubman
I hope you have a wonderful holiday today with your family and friends.
Lastly, here are some interesting stats and important numbers about Memorial Day for you:
- 620,000 – the number of soldiers who died on both sides of the Civil War.
- 1868 – the year when President James Garfield delivered a very long speech on Memorial Day.
- 2500 – the number of motorcyclists who participated in the first Rolling Thunder rally.
- $1.5 billion – the number of dollars typically spent on meat and seafood in preparation for Memorial Day weekend.
- 60% – the percentage of American households who attend or host a barbecue on this day.
- 1.5 million – the number of people who watch the National Memorial Day Parade.
- 900,000 – the number of people who gathered for the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day motorcycle rally in 2019.
- 260,000 – the number of graves at Arlington National Cemetery adorned with flags in 2019.
- 45 million – the number of men and women who have served in a time of war for the U.S.
- 3 P.M. – the time of day when a moment of silence is observed by Americans throughout the country on this day.
Source: National Today (nationaltoday.com)