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15 Memorial Day Instagram Caption Ideas, Because You're Feeling Patriotic & Grateful

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Memorial Day is viewed by most people as the unofficial kickoff to summer, a time for outdoor fun and backyard barbecues. But of course, the holiday has a far greater significance as a time to honor the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. These Memorial Day 2020 Instagram captions can help you pay the perfect tribute to those fallen heroes.

Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday of May, and this year it falls on May 18. Unlike Veterans Day, which honors all those who've served in the military, Memorial Day is specifically about remembering those who lost their lives, according to History.com. In fact, it used to be known as "Decorating Day," according to PBS, because people would head to the graves of fallen soldiers to decorate them with flowers, flags, and ribbons. If you've got a long weekend off from work due to Memorial Day, you could consider doing the same. And though you may not be able to go too from home this year, you can still make a sign to hang in the window or decorate an area of your yard to honor those who’ve served.

Here are 15 patriotic quotes to say thanks on Memorial Day.

1. "Land of the free, because of the brave."

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This twist on the lyrics of the "Star Spangled Banner" is a nice way to thank the brave men and women who have fought for American freedom going back centuries. This quote is a thoughtful way of paying respect to those who paved the road to today’s liberties.

2. "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." — Joseph Campbell

Is there a better way to define a hero? I can't think of one. If you’re a literary person, this quote is an especially relevant way to honor fallen soldiers, as Joseph Campbell is famous for creating the storytelling device known as `"The Hero’s Journey.”

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

How does one be vigilant in preserving freedom, short of signing up for military service? The first thing that comes to mind for me is by voting, of course, and by expressing gratitude for those who lost lives defending the country.

4. "America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels." — Claudia Pemberton

Supporting the troops doesn't have to have any hidden political context to it. It can simply be about supporting the men and women who leave behind their families and friends to fight and sometimes die for the U.S.

5. "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

It's hard for many of us to imagine the horrors of wars, but without people willing to go into battle and keep us safe, the rest of us might not even be here. It’s important to remember the sacrifice others have made for our freedoms on Memorial day and beyond.

6. “Freedom lies in being bold.” — Robert Frost

America is all about freedom, and there are so many different ways to express that. Perhaps the best way to honor fallen servicemen and women is to appreciate and take advantage of the many freedoms we have, even small things like a walk around the neighborhood.

7. "America is a tune. It must be sung together." — Gerald Stanley Lee

This pretty quote is extra fitting for the divisive times we're living in and it gives renewed meaning and deeper context to “we’re all in this together” which we’ve heard a lot over these past few months.

8. "We don't know them all, but we owe them all." — Unknown

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The course of American history could have gone very differently, and very badly, without men and women willing to fight for freedom. This caption's a reminder that we're all forever indebted to so many people we’ll never meet.

9. "Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well." — Jennifer Granholm

This quote hits me right in the feels. It's such a nice reminder to not wait for a specific day of the year to give thanks and be kind to those who have sacrificed for us, and those who are still sacrificing in other ways like working at the grocery store or teaching our children.

10. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.” — George S. Patton, Jr.

Memorial Day doesn't have to be completely somber. Instead, this quote explains why there's cause for celebration, too, and you can think of Memorial Day as a day of gratitude.

11. "Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it." — Unknown

There's something so moving about seeing the stars and stripes rippling in the breeze, isn't there? This quote sums up why and it calls to mind flags blowing on the breezy summer afternoon to come.

12. "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust, their courage nerves a thousand living men." — Minot Savage

This poetic quote comes from a Unitarian minister, Minot Savage, who was one of the great preachers of his time, according to the Harvard Square Library. The bravery of fallen soldiers can be a motivating reminder that sometimes making sacrifices is necessary.

13. "America! America! God shed His grace on thee." — Samuel A. Ward

The lovely lyrics of "America the Beautiful" showcase just what all those men and women fought and died for. I suggest listening to the Ray Charles version of the song at some point this weekend... it just might bring a patriotic tear to your eye.

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

You'll probably hear this classic tune getting lots of play around Memorial Day, and the lyrics make it clear why. Sometimes a song is just the best way to explain the mixed emotions of feeling somber and grateful at once.

15. "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

Though their specific names and faces may sometimes be lost to history, the heroic deeds and selfless sacrifices of fallen servicemen and women should always be honored. That holds true on Memorial Day, and every other day of the year.

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