Memorial Day Quotes and Memorial Day Sayings

Here is a huge collection of memorial day quotes and memorial day sayings. Finding the perfect quote for your needs is easy because I have put them all right here in one location. Plus I included a few fun facts about memorial day, thrown in just for fun.

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Memorial Day Quotes



On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! 
~Thomas William Parsons.

Knights of the spirit; warriors in the cause
Of justice absolute 'twixt man and man.

~Richard Watson Gilder.

memorial day quotes

Fold him in his country's stars.
Roll the drum and fire the volley!
What to him are all our wars,
What but death bemocking folly?
~George Henry Boker.

The Flag still floats unblotted with defeat!
But ah the blood that keeps its ripples red,
The starry lives that keep its field alight.
~Rupert Hughes.

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.

Give me liberty or give me death.

~ Patrick Henry.

Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave.
~ Muhammad.

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.

Is't death to fall for Freedom's right?
He's dead alone who lacks her light!
~Thomas Campbell.

For love of country they accepted death...
~James A. Garfield.

They fell, but o'er their glorious grave
Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.
~Francis Marion Crawford.

Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.
~G. K. Chesterton.

True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.
~François de la Rochefoucauld.

A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.
~Novalis.


memorial day sayings The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
~Benjamin Disraeli.

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.

They are dead; but they live in each Patriot's breast,
And their names are engraven on honor's bright crest.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.



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Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth...
~Thomas Moore.

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.
~Thomas Dunn English.

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 Drake.

Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes - Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth.
~W.J. Cameron.

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.
~Thomas Campbell.

Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays.... The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms.
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

Better than honor and glory, and History's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.
~Richard Watson Gilder.

We who are left how shall we look again
Happily on the sun or feel the rain
Without remembering how they who went
Ungrudgingly and spent
Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain?
~Wilfred Wilson Gibson.

With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green.
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich.


Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?
~Henry Ward Beecher.


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Memorial Day Facts

I thought you might like a few memorial day facts to go along with your memorial day quotes;

Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971.

The people of Waterloo, N.Y. were the first people to proclaim a day on May 5, 1866 to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War.

Memorial day was originally called decoration day.

On the Thursday just before Memorial day, around 1200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Green sods are all their monuments; and yet it tells
A nobler history than pillared piles,
Or the eternal pyramids.
~James Gates Percival.

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


memorial day quotes

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
~Senator Barry Goldwater .

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
~William Pitt .


Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people. Action, self-reliance, the vision of self and the future have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realized the light of their own freedom.
~Marcus Garvey .

Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
~Wallace Bruce.

I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.
~Benjamin Harrison.

Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forcast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.
~Will Carleton.

Life hangs as nothing in the scale against dear Liberty!
~Lucy Larcom.

All we have of freedom, all we use or know -
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
~Rudyard Kipling.


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Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.
~Calvin Coolidge.

Their own souls rose and cried
Alarum when they heard the sudden wail
Of stricken freedom and along the gale
Saw her eternal banner quivering wide.
~John LeGay Brereton.

The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem.
~Aaron Kilbourn.


Our cheer goes back to them, the valiant dead!
Laurels and roses on their graves to-day,
Lilies and laurels over them we lay,
And violets o'er each unforgotten head.
~Richard Hovey.

But fame is theirs - and future days
On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -
"These for their country fought and bled."
~Philip Freneau.

Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic.
~John A. Logan.

More Memorial Day Quotes and Sayings



Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The story of America's quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots.
~Randy Vader


Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The cost of liberty is less than the cost of repression.
~Web Dubois .

The purpose of all war is ultimately peace.
~-Saint Augustine .

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
~John F. Kennedy .

Alas, how can we help but mourn
When hero bosoms yield their breath!
A century itself may bear
But once the flower of such a death.
~S. Weir Mitchell.

They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.
~Henry Ward Beecher.

These martyrs of patriotism gave their lives for an idea.
~Schuyler Colfax.

They saw their injured country's woe;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear, - but left the shield.
~Philip Freneau.

Ah! never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of her brave -
~William Cullen Bryant.

"Dead upon the field of glory,"
Hero fit for song and story.
~John Randolph Thompason.

The hero dead cannot expire:
The dead still play their part.
~Charles Sangster.


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We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.
~Francis A. Walker.

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
~Maya Angelou.

Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.
~-Bergen Evans .

In war, there is no prize for the runner-up.
~General Omar Bradle.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
~Albert Einstein .

As I approach the gates of heaven;
St. Peter I will tell;
One more soldier reporting sir;
I've served my time in hell.
~Mark Anthony Gress.

When we say "War is over if you want it," we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we'd have peace.
~John Lennon .

Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.
~Martin Luther .

I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. .

Memorial Day Traditions

I thought if you liked these memorial day quotes and sayings you might also like to know a few memorial day traditions.

In 2000 the national moment of remembrance was enacted to remind Americans pause wherever they are at 3 pm local time for a moment of silence to remember and honor fallen soldiers.

The tradition of red poppies on Memorial Day was inspired by the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea.

Memorial day pick nicks and parades are popular ways towns and cities recognize this holiday.

American flags are flown at half mass to honor our fallen soldiers and first responders.

Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking.
~Sir Walter Scott

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.
~William Havard


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It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
~General George S. Patton

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
~ Benjamin Disraeli

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!
~Thomas William Parsons

With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green.
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich

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 Drake

The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.
~ Thomas Campbell

And each man stand with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

That's what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end.
~Lise Hand

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


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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

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

Heroism is latent in every human soul - However humble or unknown, they (the veterans) have renounced what are accounted pleasures and cheerfully undertaken all the self-denials - privations, toils, dangers, sufferings, sicknesses, mutilations, life-long hurts and losses, death itself - for some great good, dimly seen but dearly held.
~Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Bravery never goes out of fashion.
~William Makepeace Thackeray

Our battle-fields, safe in the keeping
Of Nature's kind, fostering care,
Are blooming, - our heroes are sleeping, -
And peace broods perennial there.
~John H. Jewett

These heroes are dead. They died for liberty - they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars - they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead.
~Robert G. Ingersoll

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

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
~Albert Einstein

The hero is the man dedicated to the creation and / or defense of reality-conforming, life-promoting values.
~Andrew Bernstein

Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next test comes.
~Napoleon Bonaparte

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.
~Michel de Montaigne

Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don't know how far we can go.
~Bernard Malamud

I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead.
~ Robert G. Ingersoll

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
~Rupert Brooke

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

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