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Memorial Day Reflections

"Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking."

- Sir Walter Scott

Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere."

- Abraham Lincoln 1858 Speech in Illinois

"I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed and non- violent redemptive goodwill proclaimed the rule of the land.

And the Lion and the Lamb shall lie down together, and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid. I believe that we shall overcome."

- Martin Luther King 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Speech

"... ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

John F. Kennedy

Vietnam Veteran wall in Washington DC

"Throughout its history, America has given hope, comfort and inspiration to freedom's cause in all lands. The reservoir of good will and respect for America was not built up by American arms or intrigue; it was built upon our deep dedication to the cause of human liberty and welfare."

- Adlai Stevenson

"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 success of liberty. "

- John F. Kennedy

"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be."

- John Wayne

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."

- Adlai Stevenson

"They fell, but o'er their glorious grave Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save."

- Francis Marion Crawford

"We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them."

- Francis A. Walker

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

- George Washington


"I regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

- Nathan Hale, hung as a spy by the British at the age of twenty one - Sept. 21, 1776

"Anyone who clings to the historically untrue--and thoroughly immoral--doctrine that 'violence never solves anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it.

The Ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more disputes in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."

- Robert Heinlein, author

"I shall know but one country. The ends I aim at shall be my country's, by God's and Truth's, I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American."

- Daniel Webster

"You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men they forget even more. Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders.

Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that."

- Gary Cooper as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

Memorial Day soldier grave salute

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