Memorial Day weekend is often a time of booze, barbecues, and, in the weather cooperates, beach time with friends and family. More importantly, however, it's a day in which Americans celebrate and honor the brave men and women who have lost their lives in service of the nation. It's the perfect day to show your appreciation for the military which defends and protects the country, and a good way to do so is by sharing Memorial Day quotes that remind you what this holiday is really about.
I don't come from a long line of family members who have served in the military, but I always remember stories that my grandfather told me as a child. He served in the military for almost his entire life, working on an aircraft carrier that sailed the oceans as a fully-equipped airbase. He may not have personally been at the front of the battle, but he did his duty to the country. In families across America, there are countless stories of women and men just like him.
Although your own Memorial Day celebration is probably closer to that of the aforementioned fun and sun with loved ones, here are 15 quotes that will help you honor the memory of the nation's heroes.
"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." — John F. Kennedy
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." — Nathan Hale
"The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." — Benjamin Disraeli
"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes." — Maya Angelou
"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
"The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude." — Jeff Miller
"America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor." — Paul Tsongas
"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
"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 M. Granholm
"We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them." — Francis A. Walker
"Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the armed services make to defend our way of life." — Robin Hayes
"The brave die never, though they sleep in dust, their courage nerves a thousand living men." — Minot J. Savage
"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." — Amelia Earhart
"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." — Harry S. Truman
"Patriotism is not the short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." — Adlai Stevenson