40 Memorial Day Quotes to Make You Proud to Be an American

Remember our nation's heroes on Memorial Day with these moving words.

memorial day quotes
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Your schedule for Memorial Day weekend is probably filled with fun summer activities—perhaps a night of backyard camping or even a backyard barbecue (while practicing whatever social distancing guidelines your city or town has in place)—but it's important to stop for a moment and think about the real meaning and history of Memorial Day. That's why we've put together this list of Memorial Day quotes that will give words to the sacrifice so many others have made in service to our country.

While we typically reserve this special holiday to honor military personnel who’ve fought for and maintained our freedom, let us also remember those who have fought for us every day during the course of the last few months during this unprecedented time. We're talking about the citizens of our country who are considered essential personnel—healthcare workers, current military employees, delivery drivers, grocery store employees, curbside employees in the restaurant industry, government employees, and anyone else who doesn’t have the option to work from home. Take the time this Memorial Day weekend to thank them for their courage and service by sharing one of these patriotic quotes or thankful quotes with them. Now, on to the Memorial Day quotes!

memorial day quote by elie wiesel
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Elie Wiesel

"Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future."

memorial day quote by gk chesterton
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G.K. Chesterton

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die."

memorial day quote by sun tzu
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Sun Tzu

"Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."

memorial day quote by benjamin disraeli
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Benjamin Disraeli

"The legacy of heroes — the memory of a great name, and the inheritance of a great example."

memorial day quote by john f kennedy
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John F. Kennedy

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them."

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St. Ambrose

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”

memorial day quote from sgt major bill paxton
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Sgt. Major Bill Paxton

"May we never forget our fallen comrades. Freedom isn't free."

memorial day quote by winston churchill
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Winston Churchill

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

memorial day quote by ronald reagan
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Ronald Reagan

“…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."

memorial day quote by judd gregg
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Judd Gregg

“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."

memorial day quote by gen douglas macarthur
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Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”

memorial day quote by gen george s patton
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Gen. George S. Patton

“It's better to fight for something in life than to die for nothing.”

memorial day quote by beth pennington
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Beth Pennington

"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."

memorial day quote by cynthia ozick
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Cynthia Ozick

"We take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."

memorial day quote by harry s truman
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Harry S. Truman

"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."

memorial day quote by bob dylan
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Bob Dylan

“I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom."

memorial day quotes
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Claudia Pemberton

“America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.”

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Helen Keller

"So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good."

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Design: Rebekah Lowin
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Joseph Rodman Drake

"And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave."

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Design: Rebekah Lowin
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Barack Obama

"Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay."

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Adlai Stevenson II

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."

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Design: Rebekah Lowin
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Calvin Coolidge

"Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion."

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Theodore Roosevelt

"Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering."

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Jennifer M. Granholm

"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."

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Design: Rebekah Lowin
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Elmer Davis

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."

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Design: American Artist
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Franklin D. Roosevelt

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

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Design: Rebekah Lowin
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Wallace Bruce

"Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours."

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Gen. Douglas MacArthur

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”

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James A. Garfield

"For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue."

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Mary Roach

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

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