Memory itself is a funny thing. It’s not always reliable, and it can color our lives in ways we don’t even realize. However, remembering our collective past–and especially those who gave up their futures so that we could enjoy our present–is very important.
Here are 10 inspirational quotes about memory and sacrifice, all designed to get you in the right frame of mind to remember the spirit of this national holiday while you enjoy it.
1. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” –Joseph Campbell
2. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” –Elmer Davis
3. “Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it–memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” –Ted Williams
4. “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
5. “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” –Benjamin Disraeli
6. “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” –H. Norman Schwarzkopf
7. “Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.” –Washington Irving
8. “I’ve never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don’t understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.” –Sophia Loren
9. Memories, even bittersweet ones, are better than nothing.” –Jennifer L. Armentrout
10. “He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.” –Gabriel García Márquez