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Memorable Memorial Day Quotes

  1. They fell, but o’er that glorious grave
    Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.
    — Francis Marion Crawford

  2. These heroes are dead. They died for liberty – they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. — Robert G. Ingersoll

  3. Our cheer goes back to them, the valiant dead!
    Laurels and roses on their graves to-day,
    Lilies and laurels over them we lay,
    And violets o’er each unforgotten head.
    — Richard Hovey, The Call of the Bugles

  4. We who are left, how shall we look again
    Happily on the sun or feel the rain
    Without remembering how they who went
    Ungrudgingly and spent
    Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain?
    — Wilfred Wilson Gibson, Lament

  5. For love of country they accepted death. — James A. Garfield

  6. Green sods are all their monument; and yet it tells
    A nobler history than pillared piles,
    Or the eternal pyramids.
    — James Gates Percival, The Graves of the Patriots

  7. Your silent tents of green
    We deck with fragrant flowers;
    Yours has the suffering been,
    The memory shall be ours.
    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Decoration Day

  8. On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! — Thomas William Parsons, Dirge For One Who Fell in Battle

  9. Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
    Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
    Lying so silent by night and by day
    Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
    Give them the meed they have won in the past;
    Give them the honors their future forcast;
    Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
    Give them the laurels they lost with their life.
    — Will Carleton, Cover Them Over

  10. Is’t death to fall for Freedom’s right?
    He’s dead alone who lacks her light!
    — Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground

  11. It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. — George S. Patton

  12. Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
    Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…
    — Thomas Moore, How Oft Has the Banshee Cried

  13. Our battle-fields, safe in the keeping
    Of Nature’s kind, fostering care,
    Are blooming, – our heroes are sleeping, –
    And peace broods perennial there.
    — Silas Wier Mitchell, Those Rebel Flags

  14. How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
    By all their country’s wishes blest!
    When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
    Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
    She there shall dress a sweeter sod
    Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.
    By fairy hands their knell is rung,
    There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
    To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
    And Freedom shall awhile repair,
    To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.
    — William Collins, Ode

  15. The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. — Thomas Campbell, Stanzas

  16. Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen,
    Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.
    — Richard Watson Gilder, The Burial of Sherman

  17. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism? — Henry Ward Beecher

  18. We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. — Francis Amasa Walker

  19. Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays. The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms. — Thomas Bailey Aldrich

  20. They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast,
    And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.
    — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Battle of Lovell’s Pond

  21. And I’m proud to be an American,
    where at least I know I’m free.
    And I won’t forget the men who died,
    who gave that right to me.
    — Lee Greenwood

  22. And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave. — Joseph Rodman Drake, To the Defenders of New Orleans

  23. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. — John A. Logan

  24. The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:
    Their courage nerves a thousand living men.
    — Minot J. Savage, Decorating the Soldiers’ Graves

  25. All we have of freedom, all we use or know –
    This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
    — Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue

  26. I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did. — Benjamin Harrison

  27. Spirit, that made those heroes dare
    To die, and leave their children free,
    Bid Time and Nature gently spare
    The shaft we raise to them and thee.
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

  28. Alas, how can we help but mourn
    When hero bosoms yield their breath!
    A century itself may bear
    But once the flower of such a death.
    — Silar Weir Mitchell, Herndon

  29. The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. — Benjamin Disraeli

  30. Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
    There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
    But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
    — Rupert Brooke, The Dead