The best Memorial Day quotes to honor and remember the fallen

Memorial Day weekend is here.

As with most federal holidays, post offices, banks and government buildings will be closed in observance of the day.

While many people spend the three-day weekend hosting cookouts or shopping the sales, Memorial Day is intended as a somber day of remembrance for U.S. military personnel who lost their lives in service to our country.

To honor those courageous men and women, we've gathered Memorial Day quotes to post on Instagram, Facebook or wherever else you see fit. (And all of them are much more appropriate than "Happy Memorial Day," which is the last thing you should say on the day)

But first, a little history behind why we celebrate the holiday.

Founded in 1868, Memorial Day was originally designated as a day to remember Confederate and Union soldiers who'd perished in the Civil War.

Eventually, it came to represent all Americans lost in U.S. wars and is often referred to as "Decoration Day" because of the longstanding tradition of visiting gravesites of loved ones to leave flags, flowers and other mementos.

Whether you plan to spend the day in quiet reflection or gathered with friends and family, share one of these inspiring messages to honor and remember our military heroes.

  • “We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage." — Theodore Roosevelt

  • "The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree." — Thomas Campbell

  • “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” — James Allen

  • "Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country." — George Washington

  • “In valor there is hope.” — Tacitus

  • “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” — W.E.B. DuBois

  • “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”― Thomas Campbell

  • “I got to fight on till I leave here, and I hope I leave some footprints.” — Mattie Jones

  • “Your memory feels like home to me. So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds its way back to you.” — Ranata Suzuki

  • "Without a sign his sword the brave man draws and asks no omen but his country's cause." — Homer

quote from Tacitus
quote from Tacitus
  • "The legacy of brave men and women who have fought and died for their country is the freedom we enjoy as Americans." – Lucian Adams

  • "Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just one step at a time." – Eleanor Roosevelt

  • "The brave may fall, but never yield.” – Author unknown

  • “One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”― Antonio Porchia

  • "Think about the past and consider the sacrifices men and women in the military have made for us." – Gary G. Wetzel

  • "America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." – Harry S. Truman

  • “Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” — Colonel David Hackworth

  • “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” — Michelle Obama

quote from Bob Dylan
quote from Bob Dylan
  • “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” — Benjamin Disraeli

  • "Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed by the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels." – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • "Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality." — Emily Dickinson

  • "For let the gods so speed me, as I love the name of honor more than I fear death.' — Julius Cesar

  • “Freely we serve, because we freely love, as in our will to love or not; in this we stand or fall.” — John Milton, “Paradise Lost”

  • “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” — Nathan Hale

  • "Americans may not only pay tribute to our honored dead but also unite in prayer for success in our search for a just and lasting peace." — John F. Kennedy, "Prayer for Peace," Memorial Day 1962

  • "Be strong. Live honorably and with dignity. When you don’t think you can, hold on.” — James Frey, "A Million Little Pieces"

quote from Emily Dickinson
quote from Emily Dickinson
  • "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." — Bob Dylan

  • "Courage is found in unlikely places." — J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of the Ring"

  • "Our own heart, and not other men's opinions, forms our true honor." — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • "Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul." — Michel de Montaigne

  • "Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness." — Napoleon Hill

  • “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” — Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

This article was originally published on