45 Veterans Day Quotes to Honor Those Who Served

Let's give our veterans the recognition they deserve with these Veterans Day quotes—not just on Nov. 11, but every day

On Nov. 11 we celebrate Veterans Day to honor the soldiers, both past and present, who have made sacrifices for our freedom—not to be confused with Memorial Day. While a simple “Happy Veterans Day” or “Thank you for your service” can suffice, there are other inspirational messages that will show gratitude to our veterans for their courage, including these Veterans Day quotes from inspiring leaders, writers and influencers. 

Below, you’ll find some of our favorite quotes that honor and thank our soldiers, some from famous veterans and their supporters, like Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, Barack Obama and Mark Twain. Whether you write them in a card or say them aloud to share them with a friend, family member or colleague, these Veterans Day quotes are some of the best ways to show your thanks and appreciation.

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Veterans Day quotes about freedom

Veterans Day Quotes Freedom Elmer DavisRD.com

1. “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

2. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” —Elmer Davis

3. “America’s veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world.” —John Doolittle

4. “The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” —Thomas Campbell

5. “A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.” —Theodore Roosevelt

6. “Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” —Albert Camus

7. “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

8. “Lord, bid war’s trumpet cease; fold the whole Earth in peace.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes

9. “In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country, can change it.” —Barack Obama

Love these Veterans Day quotes? Check out these patriotic quotes next.

Veterans Day quotes about courage

Mark Twain Veteran Quoterd.com

10. “Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.” —Michel de Montaigne 

11. “The boys will all be mustered out, Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.” —Wallace Bruce 

12. “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” —José Narosky 

13. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” —Mark Twain 

14. “There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.” —Nick Lampson 

15. “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” —Alexander Hamilton 

16. “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” —Billy Graham 

17. “Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” —Douglas MacArthur 

18. “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.” —Douglas MacArthur

19. “Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Winston Churchill

Read more empowering courage quotes here.

Veterans Day quotes about heroes

Bob Dylan Veteran Quoterd.com

20. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” —Joseph Campbell

21. “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.” —Bernard Malamud

22. “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” —G.K. Chesterton

23. “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” —Benjamin Disraeli

24. “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” —Bob Dylan

25. “Fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor.” —Michael N. Castle

26. “It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” —Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.

27. “My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place.” —Sidney Sheldon

28. “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

29. “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” —Nathan Hale

Let these life-changing quotes inspire you to be heroes in your everyday lives.

Veterans Day quotes about gratitude

Veterans Day Quotes Gratitude Winston ChurchillRD.com

30. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” —Maya Angelou 

31. “We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.” —George Orwell 

32. “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here [at Gettysburg], 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 

33. “America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.” —Claudia Pemberton 

34. “We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” —Francis A. Walker 

35. “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.” —Unknown 

36. “On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” —Dan Lipinski 

37. “Their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” —Daniel Webster 

38. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” —Cynthia Ozick 

39. “It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America.” —Barack Obama 

40. “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it … it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” —Unknown 

41. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —John F. Kennedy 

42. “Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” —Abraham Lincoln 

43. “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” —Jeff Miller 

44. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” —Winston Churchill  

45. “I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.” —George W. Bush 

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Free Meals for Vets on Veterans Day

Emma Taubenfeld
Emma Taubenfeld is a former assistant editor for Reader’s Digest who writes about digital lifestyle topics such as memes, social media captions, pickup lines and cute pets. When she’s not working, you can find Emma reading corny young adult novels, creating carefully curated playlists and figuring out how to spice up boxed mac and cheese.