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.
Whoever you address your wishes, be sincere and kind. Losing people you love is a devastating experience not everyone can easily get over. That is why finding warm and inspiring words is the best option to keep up each other’s spirits.