14 Memorial Day Thank You Quotes That Remind Us Why We're Grateful

While you're enjoying your three-day weekend, it's important to take at least a few minutes to reflect on what Memorial Day is all about (in other words, this holiday was definitely not created for blow-out sales and barbecues). Whatever your thoughts on America's political system may be, there's no denying the magnitude of the sacrifice fallen soldiers have made fighting for their country. To honor this sacrifice, I've rounded up 14 Memorial Day thank you quotes to inspire gratitude in all of us.

We celebrate Memorial Day not only to remember those who have fallen, but also to reflect on the cause for which they gave their lives. Those we honor on Memorial Day have sacrificed it all so that we can enjoy the safety and freedom we so often take for granted — and one of the greatest ways to pay our respects to the fallen is to appreciate these gifts. So when you and your friends are talking politics and religion at your Memorial Day barbecue, remember the many men and women who fought to protect this freedom.

Read these quotes, share them with friends and family, and take the time this Memorial Day to show gratitude for the freedoms you are fortunate enough to enjoy.

1. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them." — John F. Kennedy

2. "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

3. "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." — Melody Beattie

4. "Your silent tents of green / We deck with fragrant flowers; / Yours has the suffering been, / The memory shall be ours." — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

5. "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

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6. "Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice." — President Barack Obama

7. "Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man. For it is he — the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine — who has fought to preserve freedom. It is his valor that has given renewed hope to the free world that by working together in discipline and faith our ideals of freedom will always prevail." — Admiral Forrest P. Sherman

8. "We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them." — Francis A. Walker

9. "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust / Their courage nerves a thousand living men." — Minot J. Savage

10. "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." — Daniel Webster

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11. "They fought together as brothers-in-arms. They died together and now they sleep side by side. To them we have a solemn obligation." — Admiral Chester A. Nimitz

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." — President Harry S. Truman

13. "We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." — Cynthia Ozick

14. "It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world." — President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Images: Getty