16 Inspirational Memorial Day Quotes To Remind You What The 2017 Holiday Weekend Is All About
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For most Americans, Memorial Day is synonymous with barbecues and a long, sunny day spent at the lake. The last Monday in May is the unofficial start of summer, but the holiday's traditional purpose is to honor Americans who fell in battle. The following inspirational Memorial Day quotes can't undo the past, but they're guaranteed to remind you what the holiday weekend is truly about.

Memorial Day has been an official holiday since the passage of the National Holiday Act in 1971, but its origins reach back decades. Following the Civil War, many Americans began honoring dead soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers. By 1868, the tradition had become so popular that an organization of Union veterans declared May 30 Decoration Day, and the future president James Garfield recognized the day with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. The holiday originally honored Civil War soldiers, but after World War I, it was expanded to include the fallen in every American war. Eventually, the holiday came to be known as Memorial Day. Decades later, it's still celebrated today.

While you're off enjoying yourself over the long weekend, take some time to think about the millions of American soldiers who have passed away in battle.

1"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"

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Maya Angelou

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."

Norman Schwarzkopf

3"In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it."

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Barack Obama

4"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers and woods, it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."

George William Curtis

5"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

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Mark Twain

6"Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."

Calvin Coolidge

7"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America."

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Bill Clinton

8"Those that die for a good cause... hover as a cloud of witnesses over the nation."

Henry Ward Beecher

9"I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice."

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Albert Camus

10"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

George S. Patton Jr.

11"Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory."

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Franklin D. Roosevelt

12"On what rests the hope of the republic? One country, one language, one flag!"

Alexander Henry

13"Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility."

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Eleanor Roosevelt

14"If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung."

James Garfield

15"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission."

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John F. Kennedy

16"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