50 Memorial Day Quotes to Share in Honor and Remembrance
Honor the sacrifice of our heroic fallen with these words of wisdom that remind us of the true meaning of patriotism
Honoring veterans with Memorial Day quotes
While Memorial Day tends to herald the beginning of the summer season with barbecues, beaches and the first sunburn of the season, the “holiday” is truly a day for mourning and honoring the military members who have fought and died for our freedom. Memorial Day 2023 falls on Monday, May 29, and in order to prepare, you may be thinking about how to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed.
There are plenty of Memorial Day activities to participate in, Memorial Day movies to watch and patriotic quotes to read, but the following list of Memorial Day quotes will help you honor the fallen soldiers (and express gratitude) in the way they deserve.
“Here men endured that a nation might live.” —Herbert Hoover
Get even more inspired by former leaders with these presidential quotes.
“We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.” —Theodore Roosevelt
If this inspired you, you’ll definitely want to read these strength quotes.
rd.com, Getty Images
“Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as best he can, the same cause—honor to him, less only than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.” —Abraham Lincoln
If you’re looking to dress up your home for Memorial Day, check out these red, white and blue Memorial Day decorations.
“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
Planning to eat out this holiday? These are the restaurants open on Memorial Day.
rd.com, Getty Images
“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” —Thomas Campbell
These inspiring leadership quotes will fuel your success.
“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” —John F. Kennedy
Find out which stores are open this Memorial Day (and which will be closed).
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” —Aristotle
Don’t miss the best Memorial Day sales you need to shop this year.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” —Maya Angelou
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” —Mark Twain
If you’re wanting to take a long weekend this holiday, these Memorial Day getaways should do the trick.
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Don’t miss these Memorial Day furniture sales happening this holiday weekend.
“Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” —Winston Churchill
“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust, their courage nerves a thousand living men.” —Minot J. Savage
“Veterans are a symbol of what makes our nation great, and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedom.” —Rodney Frelinghuysen
“I love America more than any other country in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” —James Baldwin
“Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.” —Wallace Bruce
“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
“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” —Charles de Gaulle
“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
These uplifting quotes will inspire you.
“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” —John Adams
“Let their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” —Daniel Webster
“What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.” —Christopher Gadsen
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free … so other people would be also free.” —Rosa Parks
Don’t miss these essential books about racism in America.
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” —Elmer Davis
“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” —Barack Obama
“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” —Helen Keller
“A battle lost or won is easily described, understood and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.” —Frederick Douglass
These confidence quotes will have you ready to meet any challenge.
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” —G.K. Chesterton
“I had reasoned this out in my mind: There was one of two things I had a right to—liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other.” —Harriet Tubman
“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” —Arthur Ashe
“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory there would be no civilization, no future.” —Elie Wiesel
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” —Bob Dylan
“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” —Nathan Hale
“The legacy of heroes—the memory of a great name, and the inheritance of a great example.” —Benjamin Disraeli
These gratitude quotes will help you always be grateful for their sacrifice.
“We take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” —Cynthia Ozick
“Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.” —Mary Roach
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” —Joseph Campbell
“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
If you were looking for quotes geared more toward veterans, check out these Veterans Day quotes that honor those who have served.
“America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.” —Claudia Pemberton
“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” —Adlai Stevenson II
“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
“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
Learn the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day (if you don’t already know, you’re not alone).
“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” —St. Ambrose
“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” —Jeff Miller
“I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” —Bob Riley
“There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.” —Nick Lampson
These courage quotes will inspire your bravery.
“What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.” —Christopher Gadsden
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” —William J. Clinton
“Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” —Calvin Coolidge
“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” —General Douglas MacArthur
Now that you’ve been inspired by these Memorial Day quotes, learn more about the history and significance of the Memorial Day poppy.
Additional reporting by Molly Pennington, PhD.