Memorial Day is an important day in America. It’s a day to give thanks, to pay tribute and to remember those who gave their lives to protect our country. In reality, we should be thankful every single day of the year, but the third Monday of May is the official day where we all come together to honor our fallen soldiers.
In honor of Memorial Day, we’ve collected 14 quotes about Memorial Day, war, and how we should honor those who make the greatest sacrifice in the name of patriotism. Check them out here:
1. “Only the dead have seen the end of war” —Plato
A poignant point by one of history’s most important thinkers, the one and only Plato. We all yearn for the day when the living sees the end of war as well.
2. “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” —Nathan Hale
This is a quote that may not ring true for all, but for dedicated and loyal soldiers, it is sentiment that can be heartfelt and humbling.
3. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself” —Joseph Campbell
The term “hero” is thrown around more often than it actually should be, but you will know a real hero when you see one. They are people who do something for the greater good in an unselfish act.
4. “The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree” — Thomas Campbell
He paid tribute to the soldiers who fought with his reminder that we would not have the freedoms we hold so dearly today without the blood, sweat, and tears of our country’s patriots.
5. “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example” — Benjamin Disraeli
Heroes shouldn’t just be remembered; they should be used as an example to inspire us all.
6. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it” —Mark Twain
There is a big difference between being a patriot and supporting the government. You may be a diehard lover of your country but you may not always agree with how the country is being run, which Twain eloquently points out.
7. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” —JFK
This very famous quote from JFK is a clear message to Americans to give back and not be selfish — the country needs us all.
8. “137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed-it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy” — Congressman Doc Hastings
Hastings gave a great reminder that it isn’t just a day off of work but that the spirit of the day is to pay tribute to those who died for our country.
9. “You silent tents of green, We deck with fragrant flowers; Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
He has a way with words and reminds us that while our soldiers may have suffered and paid the ultimate price, it is our duty to remember them.
10. “On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live” — Eric Burdon
The lead singer of The Animals spoke of those who have made a lasting tribute, not just in the physical defense of our country but also in preaching peace and kindness.
11. “Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Forces make to defend our way of life” — Politician Robin Hayes
Hayes brought up the point that we are reminded daily of what our soldiers do for our country, and thus they should be remembered and thanked every day.
12. “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me” — Country singer Lee Greenwood
He recorded the popular hit “God Bless the U.S.A.” back in 1984, giving Americans a song to sing together to honor our fallen heroes.
13. “While only one day of the year is dedicated to honoring our veterans, American’s must never forget the sacrifices many of our fellow countrymen have made to defend our country and protect our freedom” — Congressman Randy Neugebauer
He reminds us all never to forget our heroes both on Memorial Day, but every day for that matter.
14. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived” — George S. Patton
One of the most famous military generals in history, spoke of giving thanks and celebrating their lives rather than just mourning the soldiers lost.