77 Best Memorial Day 2023 Quotes to Honor the Fallen

Memorial Day Quotes

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While many Americans welcome the Memorial Day weekend as a chance to relax and spend time with family and friends, the real reason behind this federal holiday should never be forgotten. A time to remember and honor the brave men and women who have died in military service to the United State of America, this holiday – which falls on the last Monday of May – is also a time to reflect on the meaning of sacrifice, both by the fallen and the loved ones they left behind.

Originally known as Decoration Day, this special date offers a dedicated time to pay homage to those we have lost, but if you are struggling to find the right words to convey your heartfelt gratitude to the fallen, these Memorial Day quotes will help you to say what you want to say.

Beautifully written from the heart, these Memorial Day quotes speak not just of courage and loss, but also of freedom, hope, and the debt we owe to those whose courage has prevailed in the most horrific of times. Whether you are simply looking for inspiration for your own private reflections or to include in a speech, card, or as comfort to others, these simple words are a way to acknowledge the sacrifices that were made to allow us, and our children, and our children’s children to live freely and without fear.

If you’re grieving from the loss of a family member or friend in the military, take a look at these grief quotes or if you need ideas for another military holiday, see these veterans day quotes.

Memorial Day Quotes

Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.

“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” – Bob Marley

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.

“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

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

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

You may also like: The most inspirational quotes of all-time: https://brightdrops.com/best-inspirational-quotes

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.

“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

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

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

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.

“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Related: Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

In war there is no substitute for victory.

“In war there is no substitute for victory.” – Douglas MacArthur

The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.

“The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.” – Corra May Harris

It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it.

“It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it.” – Robert E. Lee

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.

“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.” – Judd Gregg

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

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.

“As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.” – John M. McHugh

The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

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

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

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

“Who kept the faith and fought the fight; the glory theirs, the duty ours.” – Wallace Bruce

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!

“May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!” – Sen. Daniel Webster

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.

“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.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory there would be no civilization, no future.” – Elie Wiesel

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.

“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

In the aftermath, we are because they were.

“In the aftermath, we are because they were.” – RJ Heller

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.

“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” – Clarence Darrow

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

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

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.

“America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.” – Paul Tsongas

Only the dead have seen the end of war.

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” – Plato

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.

“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

I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.

“I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” – Bob Riley

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

“This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.

“There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.” – Nick Lampson

I am thankful that there are those among us who have sacrificed dearly on behalf of us. And I ardently pray to God that I might be less like myself and more like them.

“I am thankful that there are those among us who have sacrificed dearly on behalf of us. And I ardently pray to God that I might be less like myself and more like them.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

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

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

Don’t forget who your heroes are, what they mean to you, and why they mean that to you.

“Don’t forget who your heroes are, what they mean to you, and why they mean that to you.” – Gale Harold

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

“A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.” – Novalis

Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.

“Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” – Douglas Macarthur

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

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.” – Maya Angelou

The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller

Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world. A veteran does not have that problem.

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world. A veteran does not have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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.

“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

To be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something.

“To be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something.” – Criss Jami

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” – Benjamin Franklin

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

“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

Remembering our loved ones is breathing life into their fading images, that we might once more see their faces and pass along a tearful I miss you.

“Remembering our loved ones is breathing life into their fading images, that we might once more see their faces and pass along a tearful I miss you.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

On thy grave, the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!

“On thy grave, the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!” – Thomas William Parsons

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

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

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

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

Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.

“Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.” – Bernard Malamud

Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

“Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.” – Robert A. Heinlein

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – Richard Grenier

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

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

He loves his country best who strives to make it best.

“He loves his country best who strives to make it best.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

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.

“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

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.

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

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

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

We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.

“We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt

In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility.

“In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility.” – William Shakespeare

Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.

“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” – John Adams

Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” – John Dickinson

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

“This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Liberty isn’t free, despite the fact that we ‘freely’ disregard that fact.

“Liberty isn’t free, despite the fact that we ‘freely’ disregard that fact.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

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.

“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

Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.

“Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.” – William Allen White

Let their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.

“Let their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” – Daniel Webster

There’s intense national feeling in America that could be called patriotism.

“There’s intense national feeling in America that could be called patriotism.” – Michael Ignatieff

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

“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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

“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” – Adlai E. Stevenson II

What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.

“What I can do for my country, I am willing to do.” – Christopher Gadsden

Peace is the real and right memorial for those who have died in war.

“Peace is the real and right memorial for those who have died in war.” – Richard M. Nixon

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

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.

“Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” – James Bryce

True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.

“True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.” – Robert Reich

The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.

“The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.” – George McGovern

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” – Charles de Gaulle

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

“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” – Barack Obama

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