Memorial Day, also known as Decorations Day, is a day to remember and recognize the men and women who died while serving the country in our armed forces. It has also come to be a time to recognize all friends and family members who are now deceased.
The holiday is recognized on the last Monday of May in the United States. Traditionally, many people will visit cemeteries and place flags near graves. While Veterans Day celebrates the service of all veterans who served, Memorial Day recognizes those who died while serving.
To appreciate those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice, we’ve assembled this collection of Memorial Day quotes, images, and messages. The first ten selections are favorites of our expert panel.
Best Memorial Day Quotes
1.) Who sows virtue reaps honor.
Leonardo da Vinci
2.) It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.
General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
3.) Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice.
President Barack Obama
4.) How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
5.) Heroes never die. They live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow in their footsteps.
6.) The brave die never, though they sleep in the dust, Their courage nerves a thousand living men.
Minot J. Savage
7.) For the love of the country, they accepted death.
President James A. Garfield
8.) A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
9.) It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
General George S. Patton
10.) And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.
Joseph Rodman Drake
Inspirational Memorial Day Quotes
11.) Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored?
12.) Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.
Harry S. Truman
13.) Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays… The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
14.) Other lands have had heroes, but ours were more–they were saviors and, by their sacrifices, have saved the greatest land under the shining sun.
Horace Wilbert Bolton
Happy Memorial Day
15.) Memorial Day is one of the most significant and beautiful occasions of the year. It shows the sentiment of the people toward those who gave their lives for a good cause, and it teaches a lesson in patriotism which is without a parallel.
Charles E. Allison
16.) On thy grave, the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!
Thomas William Parsons
17.) With the tears, a Land hath shed – Their graves should ever be green.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
When is Memorial Day 2023?
In the United States, Memorial Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Monday of the month of May. In 2023, Memorial Day is celebrated on Monday, May 29.
Once referred to as Decoration Day, it commemorates all military servicemen and servicewomen who laid their life for the United States. The day is celebrated by visiting memorials and cemeteries. It is also considered the day when the summer season starts.
You might like Thank You Veterans Messages.
Sayings for Veterans
18.) The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.
19.) Every veteran is a hero.
20.) The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
21.) America’s Veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world.
22.) This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
23.) America’s veterans embody the ideals upon which America was founded more than 229 years ago.
24.) All gave some, and some gave all.
25.) Caring for our veterans is the duty of a grateful nation.
26.) From the world wars of Europe to the jungles of the Far East, from the deserts of the Middle East to the African continent, and even here in our own hemisphere, our veterans have made the world a better place and America the great country we are today.
27.) Real heroes don’t have a name on the back of their jerseys. They have their country’s flag on the arm of a uniform.
28.) A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle, and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
George William Curtis
29.) What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.
30.) My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy
31.) I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
32.) Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.
33.) I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.
True Patriots Quotations
34.) Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
35.) There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.
36.) It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
37.) A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle, and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
George William Curtis
38.) We can’t all be Washingtons, but we can all be patriots.
Charles F. Browne
39.) They fell but o’er their glorious grave – Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.
Francis Marion Crawford
Memorial Day Images
Memorial Day Messages
40.) If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English.
Thank a soldier.
41.) They never came back; their silence lives on.
42.) We are forever grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of those who died for the United States of America. May their courage and dedication will never be forgotten.
43.) Let Memorial Day be a day to count our blessings and remember those who serve to protect our country and our freedom.
44.) On this Memorial Day… let the memories of the dauntless and valiant martyrs be with us.
45.) We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.
46.) The brave hearts never die… they sleep in the embrace of their soil.
47.) Remember our fallen heroes. They are the reason that we are free.
48.) We are mourning those who died for the United States to remind ourselves of worthy ideals, virtues, and priorities. May their sacrifice be a constant reminder of things that matter.
49.) Land of the Free, because of the Brave.
50.) Always Remember.
Short Memorial Day Quotes
51.) America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.
52.) Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
Adlai Stevenson II
53.) A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.
54.) Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
55.) I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
56.) 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.
57.) 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.
58.) Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.
59.) Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.
60.) A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
61.) No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.
62.) The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.
Memorial Day Weekend Insights
Here are some famous Memorial Day quotes.
63.) Memorial Day has the tendency to conjure up old arguments about the Civil War. That’s understandable; it was created to mourn the dead of a war in which the Union was nearly destroyed when half the country rose up in rebellion in defense of slavery.
Nanette L. Avery
64.) Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no future.
65.) A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
66.) 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.
67.) The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.
68.) Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy
69.) Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
70.) 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
71.) In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
72.) Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.
73.) For love of country, they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.
James A. Garfield
74.) We must dare to be great, and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice, and high courage.
75.) I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.
Celebrating Memorial Day
It’s a time to say “Thank You” to those who have served our nation. It’s an opportunity to express our gratefulness. It became an official holiday in the United States in 1971.
Many towns and cities across the U.S. celebrate the holiday with parades. Concerts are held in public parks. Citizens visit the grave sites of loved ones and raise their flags at home.
Many will have picnics, barbecues, and family celebrations. The tradition of wearing a red poppy to recognize those who have died in service continues.
No matter how you celebrate Memorial Day, take a quiet minute to remember our fallen heroes.
By Mike O’Halloran
Mike’s father fought in World War II in General Patton’s army.
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