We often forget what Memorial Day is really about. Yes, it is fun to have the day off from work, to enjoy having a barbecue with family and friends and simply relaxing on the weekend that pretty much officially kicks off summer.
That said, it is also a time to pay respect to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation. Memorial Day is about honoring the men and women of the armed forces who gave it all – their lives.
Nobody articulated that better than President Ronald Reagan.
Listen to what Ronald Reagan said at Arlington National Cemetery in 1982. (You can read his remarks here.)
Other Memorable President’s Memorial Day Quotes
“Here men endured that a nation might live.”
The 31st U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, spoke these words at Valley Forge on Memorial Day in 1931. He addressed a crowd of 20,000 with a speech filled with quotes that capture the essence of Memorial Day.
Hoover addressed George Washington’s battle on that same site: “Here Washington and his little band of hungry and almost naked patriots kept alive the spark of liberty in the lowest hours of the Revolution.” He went on to say, “It is this high spirit that we commemorate when we pay our yearly tribute of reverence to those who in all wars have stood steadfast and those who have died in the service of our country.”
— Summit Land Transfer (@SummitLandTrans) May 29, 2014
Herbert Hoover’s Memorial Day speech couldn’t have come at a more critical time in America’s history. But Ronald Reagan’s chilling words in 1982 provide a true sense of appreciation for the men and women who gave their lives so we could be free.
Share this with others on this day so they can be reminded of what Memorial Day really means.