Quotation #10079

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To many, Memorial Day, the federal U.S. holiday that takes place every year on the last Monday of May, is just another excuse for a three-day weekend. It's also known as the day that marks the official start of summer and as a day devoted to getting great deals at the mall. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and mattress sales. The holiday began after the Civil War, and at that time was known as "Decoration Day." While it was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, today, Memorial Day is a day to honor all of the Americans who have died in military service. Patriotic Americans should take a moment from their day of celebration and leisure to reflect on the brave sacrifices of those who have given their lives for this great nation. Get inspired by the following 25 Glorious Memorial Day Quotes, which celebrate American heroes, as well as the values that make this country worth fighting for. Oh, and, don't forget to check out 24 Triumphant Veterans Day Quotes for even more inspiration! [include-posts id="684" count="1"] About This Quote: This famous JFK quote is from the 35th president’s inaugural address, delivered on January 20, 1961. With this speech, President Kennedy heralded a new era for the United States in which 20th-century-born Americans began to lead the nation. With these particular words, Kennedy urged this new generation to take responsibility for their country by participating in public service. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="15493" count="2"] About This Quote: This quote on the importance of dissent, commonly attributed to Mark Twain, is actually an abridged version of a quotation from Russia’s Czar Nicholas II that Twain once quoted in his writings. The Twain-attributed version of the quote was quoted in a June 2008 speech from then-Senator, Barack Obama. After quoting Twain/Nicholas II, Obama explained the meaning of this quote, as follows:  ” … when our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="53900" count="3"] About This Quote: Many people consider sacrificing their life for their country to be the highest possible honor. This quote expresses that sentiment and even takes it a step further, with Hale stating that he wishes he had more than one life to give for his country. Part of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, Nathan Hale volunteered for a risky intelligence-gathering mission in which he had to go behind enemy lines to spy on the British troops. Unfortunately, he was caught by the British and sentenced to death for spying; this quote contains Hale’s famous last words before he was hanged. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="16244" count="4"] About This Quote: This quote is from the first inaugural address of William J. Clinton, a.k.a., President Bill Clinton, given January 20, 1993. With these words, Clinton meant to express that America’s strengths are greater than its weaknesses, and that its democratic system, in particular, is the advantage that will reinvigorate the nation. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57431" count="5"] About This Quote: Sacrifice is the highest form of patriotism, or so this Bob Riley quote tells us. Robert (“Bob”) Renfroe Riley is a Republican politician who served as the governor of Alabama from 2003 to 2011. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57433" count="6"] About This Quote: This quote by author and clergyman Henry Ward Beecher refers to the dead Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Beecher is saying that while these men are physically dead, they remain with us in spirit, inspiring us with their heroic acts. The quote is from Beecher’s “The Honored Dead,” published in 1863. The piece has also been published as “Our Heroes Shall Live.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57435" count="7"] About This Quote: “Memorial Day,” a poem by Wallace Bruce, is the source of this patriotic quote. The poem was first published in a book called Wanderers in 1907. The glorious men “who kept the faith and fought the fight” are the soldiers who fought and died for their country; the citizens who owe their freedom to these individuals now have the duty to uphold the values for which these soldiers fought. Specifically, the poem is about the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57437" count="8"] About This Quote: Joseph Campbell’s 1988 book, The Power of Myth, is the source of this quote. While this quote can be applied to heroes in general, including American heroes who fought for their country, in the context of the book, the quote answers the questions of why there are so many hero stories in mythology and what makes heroes worth writing about. The Power of Myth was also made into a six-part TV miniseries. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57439" count="9"] About This Quote: This quote is a metaphor for how the death of patriots (in war) is the source of all freedom. The quote is from the poem “Stanzas,” written by Scottish poet Thomas Campbell and published in the 1836 book The poetical works of Rogers, Campbell, J. Montombery, Lamb, and Kirke White. Though the statement can certainly be made of all patriots, Campbell dedicated the poem “To the memory of the Spanish Patriots latest killed in resisting the Regency and the Duke of Angouleme.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57441" count="10"] About This Quote: This famous Benjamin Disraeli quote is a paraphrasing of a statement the British politician made in a February 1849 speech he gave in the House of Commons: “But he has left us the legacy of heroes–the memory of his great name, and the inspiration of his great example.” The quote means that heroes leave society with something very valuable after they die: the memory of their heroic acts, which should inspire the living to do the same. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57443" count="11"] About This Quote: The quote is from a speech Garfield gave at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day in 1868. The meaning of these words is that veterans gave up their lives for the love of their nation. A longer version of this quote is, “For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” Garfield was a Major General for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after serving nine consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, he became President of the United States in 1881. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57445" count="12"] About This Quote: The most rewarding thing about freedom is being able to pass on that freedom to your sons and daughters, this William Havard quote tells us. A man of Welsh descent, Havard was a military chaplain during the First World War. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57447" count="13"] About This Quote: The interpretation of this quote is that the brave and somber sacrifice of soldiers who died at war is what gives voice and meaning to our national anthem. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57449" count="14"] About This Quote: This quote is from the poem “Dirge for a Soldier” by Thomas William Parsons (1819-1892). A “dirge” is a song to express mourning, as might be sung at a funeral. The poem and quote are about the grave of a soldier; rain falling on the soldier’s grave is likened to tears falling from the nation’s eyes to express their grief at the soldier’s death. This means that when a soldier dies, the whole country grieves for him. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57450" count="15"] About This Quote: “Our Dead Soldiers,” a prose piece by Francis A. Walker, is the source of this quote. It was published in 1911 in the book Memorial Day by Robert Haven Schauffler. The quote means that Memorial Day is not necessarily about grieving for the fallen, but about celebrating their lives and their heroic deeds. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57451" count="16"] About This Quote: This quote tells us that soldiers who die valiantly for their country will always hold an esteemed place in the nation’s heart. Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820) was an early American poet. The quote is the last line from Drake’s poem “The Defenders of New Orleans.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57455" count="17"] About This Quote: This quote celebrates wisdom, justice, religious devotion, and bravery, stating that the world relies on these attributes and the people who have them. While the quote from early Islamic leader Mohammad was written long before the existence of America, it could easily be used to describe the many American soldiers who exemplify these characteristics. This quote also appears in the famous Frank Herbert book, Dune. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="2265" count="18"] About This Quote: American religious leader Billy Graham made this statement in ”A Time for Moral Courage,” a piece published by Reader’s Digest in July 1964. It means that one person’s bravery inspires others to be brave as well. Thus, it is as if this trait were “contagious.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57456" count="19"] About This Quote: This John Randolph Thompson (1823-1873) quote is from the author’s poem “Turner Ashby.” The poem is about Turner Ashby, a Confederate cavalry commander in the Civil War. As this line of the poem states, Ashby died “upon the field of glory” (on the battlefield in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley), and was indeed seen as a hero, about which many “song and story” were composed. Not only John Randolph Tompson, but several other Civil War-era poets also wrote poems to honor Turner Ashby. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57457" count="20"] About This Quote: The meaning of this quote is that the act of ordering soldiers to go into battle — such as a high-level military commander or the President might do — doesn’t require heroism; the individuals who actually participate and risk their lives in the battle are the true heroes. Norman Schwarzkopf was a U.S. Army general who led the coalition forces in the Persian War, and he also participated in combat himself during the Vietnam War. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57459" count="21"] About This Quote: This quote means that many people want to be seen as a hero to satisfy their ego, while fewer people truly become heroes; you should aspire to do the latter. Baltasar Gracian was a Spanish Jesuit who is considered one of the foremost writers of the Baroque era (which took place in 1600s Europe). [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57463" count="22"] About This Quote: These are lyrics from Lee Greenwood’s 1984 country single, “God Bless the USA.” In these lyrics, Greenwald is saying that he is proud to be an American because it represents freedom, and that we owe this right (freedom) to the American soldiers who have died in battle. The song saw a resurgence of popularity during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, and again a decade later after the September 11 attacks. There are several versions of this song, including those sung by the 2003 American Idol finalists and Beyonce Knowles’s version. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57464" count="23"] About This Quote: Like many of the other poetic quotes in this list, this one also uses eloquent language to convey the message that soldiers who die in battle do not die in vain; their deaths are meaningful because they died for a heroic cause. The quote is from the fifth stanza of F. Marion Crawford’s 1887 patriotic song, “A National Hymn.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57465" count="24"] About This Quote: Wadsworth’s poem “The Battle of Lovell’s Pond” is the source of this glorious Memorial Day quote. The poem was first published in the Portland Gazette in 1820.  This quote is from the final stanza of the poem; in the previous stanza it is made clear that the “they” in this line refers to “the warriors that fought for their country.” This line of the poem means that while those warriors are dead, they live on in the hearts of patriots, and that their names will always be associated with honor. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57467" count="25"] About This Quote: With these words, spoken by Kennedy in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961, the president advised other nations of the guidepost of his foreign policy, informing the world that his administration would do whatever it took to promote freedom and democracy, no matter who opposed it. Specifically, Kennedy was referring to his intention to stop the spread of communism in Latin America. The foreign policy initiatives that resulted from the intention described in this quote are referred to as the “Kennedy Doctrine.” [/include-posts]
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