Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, exists to honor the brave men and women who have died while serving in their country’s armed services. The holiday originated after the Civil War as a way to remember fallen Confederate and Union soldiers.
Today, most people think of Memorial Day as 1. a day off from work, 2. the start of summer, and 3. the ultimate barbecuing/picnic day. Just look at the countless articles like “Top BBQ recipes for Memorial Day…Top 19 Memorial Day Desert Decorations” that have flooded your feed today.
These purposes are great, and they should be celebrated. But before all of that begins, take a minute to reflect on what this day actually means: it is a day to remember the fallen men who gave you the freedom you enjoy today. These soldiers were brave, passionate, and fierce. Above all, they were selfless. Without remembering that truth, this day loses its special significance.
Here are 14 fantastic thoughts to capture what Memorial Day is all about:
1. Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. –Billy Graham
2. My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. –John F. Kennedy
3. The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. –William Havard
4. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. –Joseph Campbell
5. The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. –Thomas Campbell
6. 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
7. For love of country they accepted death… –James A. Garfield
8. 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
9. We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. –Francis A. Walker
10. Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background, the countless minor scenes and interiors of the secession war; and it is best they should not. The real war will never get in the books. -Walt Whitman
11. And each man stands with his face in the light. Of his own drawn sword, ready to do what a hero can. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
12. 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
13. The purpose of all war is ultimately peace. -Saint Augustine
14. I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. – Bob Riley
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