In the last days of spring, all Americans commemorate those who died in the military service. We celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May, which also marks the beginning of a vacation season.
What is Memorial Day?
The history of Memorial Day goes back to the 19th century. People who lost their friends and relatives in the Civil War started to decorate the graves of their dead with flowers, wreaths, and flags. That is why the initial name of the holiday was Decoration Day.
After World War I, all Americans adopted this remembrance tradition of the Southern states and devoted it to all those who died in any military action. We are honoring men and women who gave their lives for our country up to now.
Today people go to cemeteries to decorate the graves and pay homage to their dead. Many Americans spend Memorial Day getting together with their family for a picnic or sports event.
What is the Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
If you are one of those asking “is Memorial Day not for veterans?” it is time to learn the answer. Since a lot of us still confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day, you should know the difference to avoid any misunderstanding.
These two holidays have different origins. The official observance of Memorial Day started in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery where people decorated the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers with flowers. This tradition was extended to commemorate all military men and women who died in all American wars.
Veterans Day dates back to the early 20th century when Armistice Day was declared after World War I to honor the heroism of the American soldiers and their contribution to the world peace. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to “Veterans.” Ever since then Veterans Day is observed on November 11 to celebrate the veterans of all American wars.
What Do You Say To a Veteran on Memorial Day?
To express noble Memorial Day sentiments, you should remember that this is the time to commemorate those who gave their lives in service to our country. That is why you should not thank the living veterans on Memorial Day but show respect to their fallen comrades in arms, friends, and family.
We honor veterans on Veterans Day to express our gratitude and reverence for their service. On Memorial Day, we remember and grieve for those who died in wars. In such a way, we can deliberate on the price of war and pay tribute to those who paid in full.
So instead of looking for proper words to say to a veteran on Memorial Day, you should better visit a Veterans memorial or the USSAH National Cemetery and place flags and flowers on the graves, attend the Largest Memorial Day Parade and Concert, buy a poppy, or take part in the National Moment of Remembrance.
Do You Say Happy Memorial Day?
Over time people have adopted different attitudes to using a Memorial Day saying “Happy Memorial Day.” However, it might seem inappropriate to wish a day of bitter and painful memories to be happy. Since those of us who lost their loved ones in the wars can get genuinely fragile and emotional on Memorial Day, you should rather avoid using the word “happy.”
To be on the safe side, you can say things like “Have a nice day today” or “I hope you have a fine day today.” If you plan to honor a person whose relative died in the service, you can express your appreciation for their sacrifices in the following ways:
- I remember and deeply appreciate the ultimate sacrifice [name of a fallen hero] made.
- I share your tremendous loss and offer my deepest gratitude for [name of a fallen hero] service.
- I hope you have a nice time with your family and good memories of [name of a fallen hero] to honor [his or her] sacrifice.
Quotes about Honor
Having decided to send a card on Memorial Day, you might want to use some good quotes on honor. A reminder of the nobility and reverence of the greatest sacrifice a human can offer will help the mourning families find peace and consolation. Here are few examples you can use:
- “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge
- “The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you.” ― R.J. Palacio
- “Honor is simply the morality of superior men.” – Henry Louis Mencken
- “There is no question what the roll of honor in America is. The roll of honor consists of the names of men who have squared their conduct by ideals of duty.” - Woodrow T. Wilson
Quotes on Sacrificing
Including quotes praising sacrifice made by the American military men and women in a card is also an excellent idea. You can use any of the following:
- “The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” - Jeff Miller
- “Of what value is your life, unless you are willing to sacrifice it for those you love?” – Wayne Gerard Trotman
- “There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else.” ― Veronica Roth
- “Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.” ― Mitch Albom
- “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell
Freedom Isn't Free Quotes
It is useful to remind ourselves and others on Memorial Day that freedom does not come free and easy. Our history is full of instances showing the prices we pay for our liberties. That is why you can use these quotes to express your gratitude to those who paid the highest price for our freedoms:
- "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
- “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.” – General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
- “The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” — Thomas Campbell
- "Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice." –Barack Obama
- “Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.” - Charlie Dent
- “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.” – Harry S. Truman
Died Too Young & Heroes Never Die Quotes
Even though the loss of people you love can be devastating and sorrowful, you should always try to find consolation in good memories of them. Here are the quotes you can use to remind yourself and others of immortal honor of our fallen soldiers:
- “Heroes never die. They live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow in their footsteps.” – Emily Potter
- “I guess that's one good thing about dying young: you're remembered for your purity, vigor and spontaneity. Dying young you're remembered for your youth.” - Ryan Smithson
- “Most have been forgotten. Most deserve to be forgotten. The heroes will always be remembered. The best. The best and the worst. And a few who were a bit of both.” ― George R.R. Martin
- “Of all the ways to lose a person, death is the kindest.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “It's not the good that die young, it's the lucky." - Mark Twain
- “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” — Benjamin Disraeli
Holidays without a Loved One Quotes
We tend to feel incomplete and lonely on holidays after losing someone we love. Special occasions such as Memorial Day bring about the memories of those who are no longer with us. To soothe one’s pain, you can refer to these heartfelt quotes:
- To the loved ones we have lost. You are forever in our hearts and minds. Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
- You can never be ready to lose someone you love. As heartbreaking as it is, you should take it as an inseparable part of life.
- Even though you are no longer with me, I know for sure you are enjoying heaven.
- We are forever thankful for all the good memories you gave us. We hope you know how grateful the people are for what you did for our country.
- May God bless everyone who is mourning the loss of a loved one today. Be strong and cherish the moments of happiness.
Quotes about Serving Your Country
In spite of getting uneasy and somewhat depressing feelings on Memorial Day, you should find ways to put yourself together. Going through these inspirational quotes for Memorial Day should help you out:
“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces.” - Sidney Sheldon
- “Patriotism is easy to understand in America - it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” - Calvin Coolidge
- “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” - Abraham Lincoln
- “The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.” - Rick Warren
- “Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own.” - Seneca
- “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” - Elmer Davis
Memorial Day Messages
To write an earnest message honoring our fallen heroes, you will need to use good Memorial Day thanks quotes. Since this is a responsible and rather sensitive task, you can consider some of these fine examples:
- We are forever grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of those who died for the Unites States of America. May their courage and dedication will never be forgotten.
- With the deepest admiration, we should strive to live by the liberties and principles for which our bravest soldiers fell.
- May our eternal gratitude for the sacrifice these men and women made bring us peace and hope for a better tomorrow.
- To those who gave their lives in service to our country. Thank you for your invaluable contribution, renewed hopes, and national aspirations.
- Today we praise the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the name of our country. Their selfless devotion, outstanding courage, and honor should inspire us to make their sacrifice meaningful.
- We are mourning those who died for the United States to remind ourselves of worthy ideals, virtues, and priorities. May their sacrifice be a constant reminder of things that matter.
Memorial Day Message to Employees
If you decide to send Memorial Day wishes to your employees, make sure to learn who they are mourning. It will help you make your message more personal and connect with a person. However, it might be a difficult and troublesome task for you if you have many employees. In such case, you should send generally appropriate wishes like the following:
- On Memorial Day, let us honor those who gave their lives for our country. My warmest wishes on Memorial Day 2017 and deepest gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen heroes.
- May this year’s Memorial Day bring you good memories of those you have lost. We are forever grateful for their service to our country and our people.
- Let us never forget how brave and honorable those who died in wars for the United States of America were. Their courage and dedication will inspire generations to come to lead a life those heroes fought for.
- Warm wishes to you and your family on Memorial Day. Our deepest gratitude goes to the fallen men and women who gave us a chance to make this world a better place.
Keep in Mind the Original Purpose of Memorial Day
It is an outstanding gesture that the majority of churches and organizations strive to acknowledge the merits of the military personnel and the role of their families on Memorial Day. It is nice, but the main focus of this weekend should be on the sacrifice of those who lost their lives and on remembering their deeds. The Memorial Day greetings are to be free of any political or religious implications as it is not the right time to demonize certain parties, voice support to certain points of view, or encourage any tension. An appropriate Memorial Day greeting should be both respectful and solemn as the military families who have lost their parents, children, husbands, wives, or siblings in wars never forget their misery. When they see that other people have forgotten about their pain and loss, they get even more miserable. It is particularly painful when they hear inappropriate Memorial Day wishes and a greeting “Happy Memorial Day!”
What to Say instead of Happy Memorial Day?
It is a must for every citizen to express the sentiment and demonstrate that we value the acts of bravery, loyalty, stout heartedness, and laying down lives for the sake of the country and future generations. We remind the people to keep in mind that on Memorial Day they should have a day to remember and express the sentiment.
- We enjoy the freedom and independence, but we do remember their price.
- We appreciate all the great deeds and sacrifices done to grant us a chance to enjoy freedom.
- I do remember, each day and each minute.
- I promise to keep the memory of the sacrifice of those who have died for my country.
There are a lot of ways to express your gratitude, and you will know what to say on Memorial Day if you understand its actual meaning and significance. Be sincere and feel the moment realizing how bitter the pain and loss were. Use the Memorial Day remembrance quotes or invent your own original way to show that you never forget to pay honor to those who die defending your land for you and your children.
Memorial Day and Veterans Day Card Sayings
Memorial Day thank you quotes are perfect for cards sent on this day to show the gratitude to the heroes. What is needed is to find ways to say Happy Memorial Day without turning the day of solemnity and appreciation into a holiday full of joy. It is perfect time to set aside and pay tribute to the fallen heroes observing some minutes of silence. Happy Memorial Day quotes should be forgotten and replaced with inspirational phrases that both reveal the depth of your pain and support those who have lost their beloved ones in wars.
- We praise the perished soldiers and appreciate their sacrifice.
- I wish you a blessed Memorial Day and a cloudless future.
- Thank you to all those who have guarded my freedom and peace in my beloved country.
- We remember your service and will keep giving thanks to all courageous people in uniforms.
- You have left a mark in history, and we will always remember that.
Famous Memorial Day Quotes that Reveal Our Gratitude to Those Who Died
Honoring Memorial Day, it is not possible to avoid referring to inspiring sayings of well-known people as reminders of the sacrifice and spirit of the fallen heroes. There are people among us who protect the country and national ideas even when their lives are at stake, and reading the quotes of outstanding writers, politicians, researchers, and psychologists, it is impossible not to give those wise words some thought. When you have a great Memorial Day weekend, those sayings will come to your mind, giving a hint that freedom cannot be free and the cost is, actually, extremely high.
- "There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country." Nick Lampson
- "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me." Lee Greenwood
Memorial Day Speeches Quotes
This sad but noble day of honor, gratitude and pride is perfect for delivering speeches and reflecting over the past deeds and future prospects. There have been several speeches of outstanding Americans, which have their words engraved in the historical memory of the USA for the present and future generations. Memorial Day remembrances cannot be imagined without remembering not only the deeds of those who were losing the most precious things in lives, but also of those who managed to bring the attention of millions to the exceptional heroism and courage of the heroes.
- "I can't claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don't know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: Does that flag still wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? That is what we must all ask." - Ronald Reagan, speech at the Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day of 1982
- "The man who commands attention of his fellows is the man of wealth." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., speech at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, Memorial Day of 1895
- "If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung." - James A. Garfield, Ohio Congressman, speech at Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day of 1868
Famous Quotes about the American Flag
We, as a nation, never forget the fallen and we pay homage to their deeds done for the sake of the country and its people. What can be a better symbol that reflects the history of the nation and encourage the people to do outstanding things than the flag? Reading through “why I honor the American flag” quotes, you feel patriotic as you gain a thorough understanding of the notions those stripes and stars represent. Commemorating the American heroes, it is a matter of honor to pay tribute to the American flag as well.
- "The things that the flag stands for were created by the experiences of a great people. Everything that it stands for was written by their lives. The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history." - Woodrow Wilson
- "I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom." - John Thune
- "A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the nation that sets it forth." - Henry Ward Beecher
Military Quotes about Death
The true meaning of Memorial Day quotes is in their inner bitterness and understanding of the scope of pain and misery that the loved ones of the heroes are still feeling. This suffering has no end. Inconsolable parents, uncomforted sisters and brothers, heartbroken wives and girlfriends, desolate friends – all of them read the Memorial Day phrases with a special insight. Continuous fear, anxiety and tears of the relatives, everyday risk, and numerous losses turn wars into tragedies never to be forgotten. Remembering those who served quotes serve like eulogies,reminding others about tremendous grief, awful pain, and the power of our heroes.
- "Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato
- "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton
- "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell
Honoring fallen soldiers and celebrating their courage, you show that you care about the country you live in and about the heritage your children will get. Every American soldier quote shows how meaningful the sacrifice of the veterans was, and how crucial each personal ‘thank you” is in the general appreciation of the fallen heroes. When you express your gratitude to the heroes, you demonstrate that your freedom and possibility to live happily can be attributed to other people, whose dignity allows all of us to enjoy life. Every time people say any ‘home of the free because of the brave’ quote, they pay tribute to their ancestors and priceless services they gave to the next generations.
- "The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree." - Thomas Campbell
- "We need to build a beautiful granite and bronze monument in our nation's capital to honor American heroes, unsung American heroes." - Bernard Goldberg
- "The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." - Benjamin Disraeli
Memorial Day Poems Quotes
Americans keep reading and sending each other patriotic quotes about veterans to show to the whole world that they are praying for peace, being tired of the wounds, scars, and pain of the war times. They use Memorial Day motivational quotes to remind others how important it is to show their gratitude for the cost paid for happiness and peace. No memory should face and even the centuries will not be enough to pass a wet sponge over the bitterness we keep feeling. Memorial Day marine quotes, pictures with Memorial Day captions, and poems about heroes bring not the romantic images of fearless supermen, but reminiscences about real-life people, strong enough to forget about themselves for the same of others.
"Let us have faith, their spirits to heaven have flown.
So today let us offer our love in a heartfelt prayer
to pray for families whose loved ones have died.
Lord please bless them all, let them know we care.
Let there be peace for all on this earth who abide." - Connie Marcum Wong
by the unknown soldier’s tomb
she prays for closure." - Paul Callus