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Memorial Day Quotes Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

Norbert Juma, Editor
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These Memorial Day quotes will help you remember those who gave all for America.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May and is considered the unofficial start of the summer vacation season in the United States.

Tell us which Memorial Day quotes resonated most with you in the comment section below.

What are the benefits of reading these Memorial Day quotes?

Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War.

It was originally known as Decoration Day in reference to a tradition of decorating the graves of those who lost their lives in the Civil War, and its set date was May 30.

It picked up the name Memorial Day in the years following World War 1 as people used it to pay respect to all who died in all US wars.

Each year on Memorial Day, Americans take time from their busy schedules to honor the brave warriors who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and liberty.

You can observe this day by:

  • visiting memorials
  • participating in parades
  • holding family gatherings
  • visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes

To help you honor and remember those who gave their lives in the line of duty, below is our collection of inspirational, patriotic, and moving Memorial Day quotes and sayings collected from various sources over the years.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

Memorial Day quotes honoring our fallen heroes

1. “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”- Jeff Miller

2. “Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.”- Barack Obama

3. “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” –Adlai E. Stevenson II

4. “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.” – Beth Pennington

5. “Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory there would be no civilization, no future.” – Elie Wiesel

Memorial Day quotes honoring our fallen heroes

You will also enjoy our article on veterans day quotes.

6. “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world. A veteran does not have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Ronald Reagan quotes from the former United States President.

7. “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.” – Bernard Malamud
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of hero quotes that inspire everyone to make a difference.

8. “What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.” – Christopher Gadsden

9. “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

10. “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Memorial Day quotes to remember sacrifice and authentic heroism

11. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

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12. “There’s intense national feeling in America that could be called patriotism.”-  Michael Ignatieff

13. “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” – Charles de Gaulle

14. “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.” – Lee Greenwood

15. “True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.” – Robert Reich

16. “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” – Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Memorial Day quotes to remember sacrifice and authentic heroism

17. “America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.” – Paul Tsongas

18. “America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.” – Claudia Pemberton

19. “He loves his country best who strives to make it best.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

20. “This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Memorial Day quotes to honor those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and liberty

21. “Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” – James Bryce

22. “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli

23. “I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” – Bob Riley

24. “For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” – James A. Garfield

25. “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!” – Sen. Daniel Webster

26. “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

Memorial Day quotes to honor those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and liberty

27. “We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt

28. “The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

29. “Who kept the faith and fought the fight; the glory theirs, the duty ours.” – Wallace Bruce

30. “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” – John Dickinson

Memorial Day quotes to remember those who gave all for America

31. “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

32. “There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.” – Nick Lampson

33. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

34. “As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.”- John M. McHugh

Memorial Day quotes to remember those who gave all for America

35. “Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” – Douglas Macarthur

36. “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” – John Adams

37. “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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38. “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” – Benjamin Franklin

39. “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.” – John Thune

40. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Joseph Campbell quotes to inspire long term thinking.

Memorial Day quotes to honor those service members who died for our freedom

41. “The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” – Judd Gregg

42. “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.” – Beth Pennington

43. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” –  Cynthia Ozick

44. “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.” –Thucydides

45. “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” – Minot J. Savage

Memorial Day quotes to honor those service members who died for our freedom

46. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” – George S. Patton

47. “This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.” — Elmer Davis

48. “Liberty isn’t free, despite the fact that we ‘freely’ disregard that fact.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

49. “Remembering our loved ones is breathing life into their fading images, that we might once more see their faces and pass along a tearful “I miss you.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

50. “I am thankful that there are those among us who have sacrificed dearly on behalf of us. And I ardently pray to God that I might be less like myself and more like them.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

More Memorial Day quotes and sayings

51. “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

52. “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” – Billy Graham

53. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle

54. “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” – Bob Marley

55. “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” – Clarence Darrow

56. “The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.” – George McGovern

57. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – Richard Grenier

58. “A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.” – Novalis

59. “In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility.” – William Shakespeare

60. “Don’t forget who your heroes are, what they mean to you, and why they mean that to you.” – Gale Harold

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Memorial Day quotes to remind us of great sacrifice

61. “Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.” – Mary Roach

62. “And 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.” –Ronald Reagan

63. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.” – Maya Angelou

64. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

65. “Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.” –Robert A. Heinlein

66. “Let their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” – Daniel Webster

67. “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.” – Tamra Bolton

68. “We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” – Francis A. Walker

69. “In the aftermath, we are because they were.” – RJ Heller

70. “On thy grave, the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!” – Thomas William Parsons

Memorial Day Quotes To Celebrate Victory

71. “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” — Plato

72. “In war there is no substitute for victory.” — Douglas MacArthur

73. “Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.” — William Allen White

74. “To be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something.” — Criss Jami

75. “The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.” — Corra May Harris

76. “It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it.” — Robert E. Lee

77. “Peace is the real and right memorial for those who have died in war.” — Richard M. Nixon

78. “True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

79. “May Heaven be propitious, and smile on the cause of my country.” — Zebulon Pike

80. “There were big geysers coming up where the shells were landing and there were bodies floating, face down, face up.” — Elliot Johnson

Did you enjoy these Memorial Day quotes?

We designate memorial Day to honor those service members who died for our freedom.

They gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The willingness of America’s warriors to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.

We must take a few moments to honor and remember them.

Hopefully, the quotes above have helped you remember the reason for this solemn day.

Which of these Memorial Day quotes was your favorite?

Do you have any other patriotic quotes to add to the list?

Tell us in the comment section below.

Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and followers.

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