16 Memorial Day Quotes To Inspire You
by Eliza Castile
Looking up from a low angle at an American flag backlit from the sun.
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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.


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

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"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."


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

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"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."


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


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


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

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


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


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


"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."


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


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


"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."


"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."


"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."