Memorial Day is much more than just an extended weekend. Memorial Day, which started after the Civil War in 1868, was created to honor Americans who died while fighting for their country. It’s not to be confused with Veterans Day, which is an observance for those who served in the U.S. military.

The national observance takes place every year on the last Monday in May-- and there’s plenty more to Memorial Day than it being the unofficial start to summer and great savings at the mall, though those things are fun too. To honor those who died in the military service, some inspirational quotes said by influential people have been shared below, courtesy of Brainy Quote and Quotery. 

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

2.“Ask not what your country can do for you-- ask what you can do for your country.” -- John F. Kennedy

3. “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” -- Bill Clinton

4. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” -- Mark Twain

5. “Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.” -- Bob Marley

6. “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” -- John F. Kennedy

7. “What’s right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity-- intellect and resources-- to do something about them.” -- Henry Ford

8. “The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” -- Aaron Kilbourn

9. “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” -- Thomas Campbell

10. “I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.” -- Bob Riley

11. “There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens can not cure.” -- Dwight David Eisenhower

12. “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” -- Minot J. Savage

13. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” -- Joseph Campbell

14. “For love of country they accepted death.” -- James Garfield

15. “The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.” -- William Harvard

16. “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” -- Billy Graham

17. “They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.” -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

18. “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

19. “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” -- George Washington

20. “The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” -- Jeff Miller

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