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45 Veterans Day quotes to say 'thank you' to those who have served

Honor military personnel this year by sharing one of these inspirational messages and sayings.

Veterans Day is commemorated annually on Nov. 11 and honors Americans who have served in the military and the sacrifices they've made in service to their country.

This year, the federal holiday falls on Saturday, Nov. 11. As is customary, financial institutions like banks, as well as government offices like the USPS will be closed in observance of the day.

The commemoration first began in 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson set Nov. 11 aside to recognize the end of World War I along with those who served in the years-long conflict, declaring it "Armistice Day."

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory," Wilson proclaimed.

Seven years later, in 1926, Congress passed a resolution, designating November 11 as an official holiday.

It wasn't until 1954, however, that at the urging of veterans and those who'd fought in World War II and the Korean War, Congress amended the holiday by removing the word "Armistice" and replacing it with "Veterans" in order to recognize those who served their country in all wars.

Since then, Nov. 11 has been recognized as a federal holiday and is typically commemorated with parades and various services across the U.S. to pay tribute to those who’ve served, as well as to remember the fallen.

In honor of Veterans Day, we've collected these meaningful quotes for you to share and use to say "thank you for your service."

Veterans Day Quotes
  • “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall
  • “One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one Nation, evermore!” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." — Christopher Reeve
  • “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy
  • “We’re blessed with the opportunity to stand for something — for liberty and freedom and fairness. And these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to. And we have good reason to be hopeful and optimistic.” — Ronald Reagan
Veterans Day Quotes
  • “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — Harry Truman
  • “Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just one step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America’s heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.” — John Quincy Adams
  • “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” — Marquis de Lafayette
  • “Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” — James Bryce
Veterans Day Quotes
  • “Where liberty dwells, there is my country." — Benjamin Franklin
  • “If the only prayer you said was ‘thank you,’ that would be enough.” ― Meister Eckhart
  • "Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing." ― Emma Donaghue
  • "Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” — General Douglas MacArthur
  • "And we must never forget that it is the mighty arm of the American warrior — never bending, never breaking, never yielding — generation after generation that secured for us the blessings of a nation that still stands today as the beacon of liberty, democracy, and justice around the world." — Joe Biden
Veterans Day Quotes

  

  • “Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” — General Douglas MacArthur
  • “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” — Alexander Hamilton
  • “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton Jr.
  • “It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” — General Norman Schwarzkopf
Veterans Day Quotes
  • “Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • “The valor and courage of our young women and men in the armed services are a shining example to all of the world, and we owe them and their families our deepest respect.” — Bill Frist
  • “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” — Arthur Ashe
  • “Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done.” — John Keegan
  • “Honoring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day.” — Charles B. Rangel
Veterans Day Quotes
  • “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.” — Bernard Malamud
  • “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen, Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.” — Richard Watson Gilder
  • “On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.” — Dan Lipinski
  • “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
  • “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” — Nathan Hale
Veterans Day Quotes
  • “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” — Winston Churchill
  • “America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.” — Claudia Pemberton
  • “Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen, was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.” — Richard Watson Gilder
  • “This country has not seen and probably will never know the true level of sacrifice of our veterans.” — Thomas M. Smith
  • “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form or a readiness to die.” — G.K. Chesterton
  • “Fortune favors the brave.” — Terence,
  • “This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.” — Elmer Davis
  • “When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death — that is heroism.” — Robert Green Ingersoll
Veterans Day Quotes
  • “These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor—and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror.” —Michael N. Castle
  • “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” — General Jimmy Doolittle
  • “On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!” — Thomas William Parsons
  • “The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” — Thomas Campbell
  • “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared to death.” — General Omar Bradley
  • “Whenever the world makes you cynical; whenever you seek true humility, and true selflessness — look to a veteran.” — Barack Obama