Before packing up the grill, beach towels, and bathing suits for an eventful Memorial Day weekend, we should all take a little time to remember what it is exactly we are celebrating. Dating back to the American Civil War when it was known as “Decoration Day,” the practice of placing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers is not only done in remembrance of the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces, but also to honor the freedom in which they upheld. To help celebrate the true meaning behind Memorial Day and commend the people who gave their lives to ensure all of our right to freedom, here are 22 memorable quotes from some of the most inspirational minds in American history:

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. "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower

3. “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.

4. “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” – President Bill Clinton

5. "How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" – Maya Angelou

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

7. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” – President Thomas Jefferson

8. “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.”  – Thomas Bailey Aldrich

9. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

10. "Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice." – President Barack Obama

11. “On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!” – Thomas William Parsons

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

13. "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

14. “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” – President George Washington

15. “And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.” – Joseph Rodman Drake

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

17. “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” – President Calvin Coolidge

18. “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.” – Daniel Webster

19. “They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.” – Henry Ward Beecher

20. “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” – Minot J. Savage

21. “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

22. "For love of country, they accepted death.” – President James A. Garfield