Every year on Nov. 11, Americans celebrate Veterans Day by honoring the brave and proud citizens who served or are serving in any branch of the United States Military.

The day is a chance to express gratitude to people who protect the nation with courage, while being aware that it might come at the cost of their own lives. The day was first celebrated in 1938 as Armistice Day to celebrate the veterans of World War I.

In 1954, the word Armistice was replaced by Veterans, referring to all those who served in all of the wars. Here is a compilation of inspirational quotes of Veterans Day from American Profile, ThoughtCo, and other websites.

Veterans Day Americans honor the brave and proud citizens that served or are serving in any branch of the United States military on Nov. 11 every year. In this image, Gavin Kinney (9) holds up a sign thanking veterans at the nation's largest Veterans Day Parade in New York City, Nov. 11, 2015. Photo: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

  1. “I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?’”  —Eve Merriam
  2. “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” – Billy Graham
  3. “On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” —Dan Lipinski 
  4. “My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place—police, firefighters, and members of our armed forces.” — Sidney Sheld on
  5. “The most persistent sound, which reverberates through men’s history, is the beating of war drums.” — Arthur Koestler
  6. “Our veterans accepted the responsibility to defend America and uphold our values when duty called.” — Bill Shuster
  7. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. “ — Joseph Campbell
  8. “In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” — Mark Twain
  9. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kenned y
  10. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” — Elmer Davis
  11. “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” — Jeff Miller
  12. “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” — G.K. Chesterton
  13. “Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” — Winston Churchill
  14. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” — Maya Angelou
  15. “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.” — Bernard Malamud