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Americans and other world leaders have given us wise and witty military appreciation quotes since long before Military Appreciation Month was officially designated in 1999. These quotes help us put into words our feelings about our troops and what their service means to our nation.
May was chosen as Military Appreciation Month because it includes many military celebrations and commemorations, such as Armed Forces Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Victory in Europe Day and, most importantly, Memorial Day.
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"There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer." -- Gen. James H. Doolittle
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation." -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -- John Quincy Adams
"This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave." -- Elmer Davis
"When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death -- that is heroism." -- Robert Green Ingersoll
"Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard." -- President John F. Kennedy
"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." -- Gen. George S. Patton
"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks." -- James Allen
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." -- Joseph Campbell
"The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men." -- Minot J. Savage
"We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us." -- Winston S. Churchill
"America without her Soldiers would be like God without His angels." -- Claudia Pemberton
"War is too important to be left to the generals" -- Georges Clémenceau
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight -- it's the size of the fight in the dog." -- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
"For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The patriot's blood is the seed of freedom's tree." -- Thomas Campbell
"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." -- Paul Tsongas
"These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor -- and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror." -- Michael N. Castle
"True patriotism isn't cheap. It's about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going." -- Robert Reich
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." -- Winston Churchill, 1940
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On this Memorial Day weekend, we look at words of wisdom from three American presidents. I chose these three quotations because they seemed to complement each other and flow together beautifully.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”
We tend to think that every problem we face now is new, and everything was better back in the old days. To some extent and in some cases that is true, but FDR’s quote makes clear that even in the time of the Greatest Generation people could grow complacent.
It is human nature. We could all work on developing a greater sense of gratitude. As the great songwriter Joni Mitchell put it: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”
President Roosevelt was right. The privileges and freedoms we have, we owe to the men who fought and died to secure them. There is no guarantee that we will always have them.
Barack Obama: “Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice.”
President Obama picks up on FDR’s theme — we as a nation owe the fallen — and acknowledges that the debt is so great that it cannot be repaid.
But, Obama says, even though we can’t repay the debt, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. How? By honoring their sacrifice. By remembering them and appreciating them and expressing gratitude toward them not just on Memorial Day, but also throughout the year.
But there is more to it, as our next presidential quote explains:
John F. Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”
JFK said this not at Memorial Day but in his Thanksgiving Proclamation officially designating Nov. 28, 1963, as a day of national thanksgiving. Tragically, he would not live to see Thanksgiving Day — he was assassinated on Nov. 22.
While issued at Thanksgiving, JFK’s words are nonetheless perfect for Memorial Day. At the height of the Cold War, Kennedy recounts our nation’s history, briefly outlining its growth in power and prosperity, then:
“Yet, as our power has grown, so has our peril. Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers — for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate.”
This is what it means not just to utter the words but to live by them. This is how we honor the sacrifices of the fallen — by emulating those ideals; by striving to live our daily lives with honor and faith, with determination, with courage and with humility.
William P. Warford’s column appears every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Observed on every year’s last Monday of May, Memorial Day is an American holiday that honors all men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it’s hard to exactly tell the origins of this tradition since the decoration of soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom practiced all around the world.
Nevertheless, Decoration Day was first celebrated on the 30th of May 1868, the day was chosen by General John A. Logan and it initially honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War.
100 years later, the holiday would become known as Memorial Day to commemorate all the American people who died in all wars.
On Memorial Day, Americans attend one of the numerous military parades and ceremonies, and visit cemeteries and memorials to pay respect to the men and women who have died in wars or in the service of their country.
Here are 17 Memorial Day quotes to honor American heroes.
There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.
– Nick Lampson
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
For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.
— James A. Garfield
The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
– Benjamin Disraeli
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
– Joseph Campbell
The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.
— Jeff Miller
Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.
– George S. Patton
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
– Nathan Hale
The brave die never, though they sleep in dust, their courage nerves a thousand living men.
— Minot J. Savage
My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
– John F. Kennedy
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 Garfield
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
On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.
— Eric Burdon
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
– Maya Angelou
Those that die for a good cause… hover as a cloud of witnesses over the nation.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. — Daniel Webster
Flavia Medrut is a freelance writer, researcher and part-time psychologist. She believes music, long walks and a good sense of humor are imperative in keeping one’s sanity. Kindness and kittens make her heart melt.
Whether you plan to observe the holiday with a parade, a service, or a moment of silence, we've gathered up the most honorable, dignified and.
Veterans Day is a day to honor those who served who have the fortune of coming back home. We should be honoring America’s veterans every day of the year. November 11 is a national day to recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes. Here are some patriotic Veterans Day Quotes to to help say thank you to our America’s military, past and present.
Memorial Day is one of the those holidays that causes us to reach at pomp- filled Memorial Day events and, thus, their words of wisdom on.