Better to Die Fighting for Freedom Than be a Prisoner all the Days of your Life: 16 Favorite Memorial Day Quotes

Memorial Day began after the Civil War and was know at that time as "Decoration Day." It was created to honor those who died in the Civil War originally but has since become the day we honor all soldiers who died in service to our country defending our freedom. Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day, which is the day we honor all soldiers who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military.

Here are some quotes I found that are fitting for Memorial Day. The first is my personal favorite. After the quotes you will find a free download for those of you who would like to create and light a special candle to be of service to those who died for our freedom.

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.”  Bob Marley

"On Memorial Day, I don't want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live." Eric Burdon

"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.”  John F. Kennedy

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.”  Aaron Kilbourn

"Who sows virtue reaps honor." Leonardo da Vinci

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

"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

"Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong." James Bryce

"As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation's wars" John M. McHugh

"I would rather be remembered by a song than by a victory." Alexander Smith

"137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America's most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed - it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy." Doc Hastings

“The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.”  William Harvard

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

“They are dead, but they live in each Patriot’s breast, and their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.”  Bob Marley

Simple Service for Fallen Soldiers on Memorial Day and Any Day

While we have Memorial Day to remind us of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us,  we can and should perform a Memorial Service any time we feel the desire to do so. It is very simple to do and requires little on our part.

To perform this service, you will need the following:

  • white candle
  • frankincense tears
  • frankincense essential oil
  • angelica root
  • rose petals
  • marigolds
  • white rocks and/or shells
  • alum stone
  • clear glass of water
  • white plate

First, prepare your candle. I use a seven-day glass container that I pour my wax, fix with herbs and oils, and add a nice label to it. I am giving you the label as a free download today - just scroll down to get it.

I melt my candle wax and then add the frankincense, angelica root, rose petals, and marigold petals to the melted wax. You can use a regular white candle by anointing it with the frankincense essential oil then crushing the angelica root, rose petals, marigold petals and frankincense tears and rolling the candle in the floral blend. If using a pre-bought white glass-encased candle, poke nine holes in the top, add a drop of frankincense essential oil to each hole and sprinkle some of the crushed floral blend on top.

Set the fixed candle on a white plate and add some flower petals around the candle.

Place the white rocks and shells around the white plate. These represent the fallen soldiers. Place photos of relatives who died in war on your altar if you have any. Add a glass of water to which you have added a piece of alum stone to keep evil away from your service. I was taught to add alum stone to water to aid in communication, and to protect the living and the Dead, among other things. If you don't have alum, just leave it out.

Add some flowers and your patron saint if you wish to further personalize your service. Now all you have to do is light your candle and pray for our soldiers who died for us. Just pray a heart felt prayer and do it every day until the candle burns down.

If you do not have everything for this service, don't let it stop you. You can even just light a tea light and say a prayer of gratitude and blessings for our fallen soldiers.


Then, open a blank word document. Set the orientation to landscape. Insert the image into the document and print it out. It will fit perfectly on a glass encased seven-day candle. Cut out the image and glue to a white seven-day candle and perform a personal service to the ones fallen in battle for our freedom.


1 comment:


    *On this date in 1865, former Black [so-called] slaves/liberated African , started Memorial Day in America.

    This occurred in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. Together with teachers and missionaries, Black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony that year which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers.

    The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, "Martyrs of the Race Course." Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 Black school children newly enrolled in Freedmen's schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, Black ministers, and White northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to be placed on the burial field. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the "First Decoration Day" in the North.

    David W. Blight described the day: "This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is [LIBERATED AFRICANS] black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”


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