Memorial Day

Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the beginning and end of the summer holidays in the United States. These three-day weekends traditionally are times for celebration and family outings. Celebrated in most states on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a time to remember the U.S. men and women who lost their lives serving their country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was established in 1868 to commemorate the dead from the Civil War. Over the years it came to serve as a day to remember all U.S. men and women killed or missing in action in all wars.

The Flag of the United States of America
The USGenWeb Tombstone
Transcription Project
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Vietnam Women's Memorial
Department of Veterans Affairs
DefenseLINK: Official Web Site
of the U.S. Department of Defense

Memorial Day Websites

Literature, Poetry, Letters
Quotes about War and Peace


American Civil War Information Archive
Selected Civil War Photographs Home Page
Korean War Project


Peace and Conflict Homepage
Peace Tree


The Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Remembrance: Casualties of the Vietnam War
Vietnam Veterans Memorials
Library of Congress POW/MIA Database


With My Family on Memorial Day
Letters Home from a Soldier
in the U.S. Civil War

Gulf War Diary of Robert Werman


Saint Augustine (354-430)

The purpose of all war is peace.

Menachem Begin (1913-)

No more wars, no more bloodshed. Peace unto you. Shalom, salaam, forever.

On signing the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Washington, D.C. (March 26, 1979)

Michael Collins -- Irish Patriot. (1890-1922)

I hate them for making hate necessary, and I'll do what I can to end it. I want peace and quiet. I want it so much I'd die for it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.

Memorial Day Address (1884)

A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

Here dead lie we because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung
. Life to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is, and we were young.

Bible, Isaiah

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

John Lennon (1940-1980)

When we say "War is over if you want it," we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we'd have peace.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.

On Marriage (1530)

Robert Lynd (1879-1949) Anglo-Irish essayist, journalist

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.

John Milton (1608-1674)

Peace hath her victories, no less renowned than War.

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.

Memoirs (Confieso Que He Vivido: Memorias) (1974)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.

King Henry the Fifth (1598-1600), Act: III, Scene: i, Line: 1

UNESCO Constitution

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.

Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953)

Wars are not acts of God. They are caused by man, by man-made institutions, by the way in which man has organized his society. What man has made, man can change.

Speech at Arlington National Cemetery (Memorial Day, 1945)

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

(The Civil War) created in this country what had never existed before a national consciousness. It was not the salvation of the Union; it was the rebirth of the Union.

Memorial Day Address (1915)

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This page was last updated June 24, 2002.