Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, has been a longstanding day on which to remember and honor military soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy today. Memorial Day was first recognized on May 30, 1868. A century later, the May 30th date was moved to the final Monday of May.

To help you appreciate these freedoms a little more, give the following quotes a read. They are sure to make you think a bit and offer some perspective.

1. "I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world." – President Ronald Reagan

2. "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." – General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.

3. "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." — General George S. Patton

4. "Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays ... The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms." – writer/editor Thomas Bailey Aldrich

5. "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

6. "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." – President John F. Kennedy

7. "And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave." – poet Joseph Rodman Drake

8. "We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them." – economist and military officer Francis A. Walker

9. "Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion." – President Calvin Coolidge

10. "Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored." – U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster

11. "They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation." – social reformer Henry Ward Beecher

12. "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men." – minister Minot J. Savage

13. "Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices." – President Harry S. Truman