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Bo Derek, Ann-Margret, Tanya Tucker and More Share Powerful Memorial Day Quotes

See what they have to say about entertaining the troops, family members who served and more

Memorial Day may often be thought of as the unofficial start of summer, but it’s also a day of solemn contemplation and gratitude for those of us who have military personnel in our families. During this holiday, we reflect on the service they’ve given the country and take the time to honor them and remember those we’ve lost with Memorial Day quotes and tributes.

Over the years, a number of celebrities who appeared on the cover of Woman’s World and our sister magazine, FIRST for Women, have spoken movingly in our pages about the holiday and what it means to them. Here’s a look at some poignant Memorial Day quotes from country singers, movie stars and more.

1. Tanya Tucker: “I pay homage to them”

Tanya Tucker onstage in 2023
Tanya Tucker onstage in 2023Terry Wyatt/Getty

Country icon Tanya Tucker may be known for her toughness, but she got emotional talking about the troops, saying, “On Memorial Day, I definitely pay homage to them. I think they should be celebrated and people should do all kinds of things for them. I just want to be a better American and honor our military. I thank them very much.”

MUST-READ: Country Music Hall of Fame Inducts Patty Loveless, Tanya Tucker and Bob McDill: See 24 Joyful Photos of the Celebration

2. Naomi Judd: “I want to be able to bring all the dogs home”

Naomi Judd speaks during the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards 2013 Memorial Day quotes
Naomi Judd gives a speech during the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in 2013 Ryan Miller/Getty

Country music matriarch Naomi Judd, who tragically passed away in 2022, spoke passionately of her work helping veterans and their beloved pets through the American Humane Association, saying, “I’ve worked with five veterans who were in Fallujah, which is the worst fighting zone, and all of them had really bad PTSD.”

She continued, “The military got them to the States because that’s where the care is, but that leaves their dogs. These dogs are the guys’ comfort. They’re everything to them. These five guys were not doing well because of the PTSD, so I was able to find all five dogs and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life. I want to be able to bring all the dogs home.”

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3. Savannah Guthrie: “We have to care for those who are caring for them”

Savannah Guthrie accepts her award at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation's 10th Anniversary Heroes and History Makers Celebration at The Anthem on October 19, 2022 Memorial Day quotes
Savannah Guthrie speaks at an Elizabeth Dole Foundation event in 2022Shannon Finney/Getty

Today anchor and author Savannah Guthrie is a supporter of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and their Hidden Heroes campaign, a cause that’s “all about taking care of military caregivers.”

She said, “I’m really passionate about that work and shining a light on caregivers. They just want to be seen and valued for this incredible service that they are providing, and I always say, ‘If we want to care for our veterans — we always say that we do and I think we do — then we have to care for those who are caring for them.’ That’s a big passion of mine.”

MUST-READ: Savannah Guthrie Shares Her Faith Journey: “God Doesn’t Cause Pain, He Carries Us Through It” (EXCLUSIVE)

4. Ann-Margret: “It means the world to me”

Ann-Margret performs for the troops in Vietnam in 1968
Ann-Margret performs for the troops in Vietnam in 1968Bettmann/Getty

The legendary actress and singer Ann-Margret, who appeared in classic ’60s films like Bye Bye Birdie and Viva Las Vegas, shared fond memories of her times performing for servicemen, recalling, “I went to Vietnam in 1966 and 1968 for the troops. Often throughout the years, I’ve received letters from men and women who were there. It means the world to me.”

MUST-READ: Hollywood Icon Ann-Margret Opens Up About Motorcycles, Dean Martin, Elvis and Her Secret Souvenir From ‘Viva Las Vegas’

5. Eva LaRue: “It never means as much as when you actually lose the person”

Eva LaRue in 2024 Memorial Day quotes
Eva LaRue in 2024Gilbert Flores/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty

Soap star Eva LaRue, who recently joined the cast of General Hospital, shared that Memorial Day took on a new resonance following the passing of her father, who was a veteran of the Korean War. “It never means as much as when you actually lose the person who had served our country,” she said.

MUST-READ: Eva LaRue Talks New ‘General Hospital’ Character, ‘All My Children’ Reboot & More!

6. Marie Osmond: “Memorial Day causes me to focus my attention on those we’ve lost”

Marie Osmond poses with Marines in 2011
Marie Osmond poses with Marines in 2011David Livingston/Getty

Singer and businesswoman Marie Osmond told us she sees the holiday as a time to appreciate people who are no longer with us, saying, “Memorial Day causes me to focus my attention on those we’ve lost, and also on our veterans and the important work they’ve done”

MUST-READ: Marie Osmond Is Checking Things Off Her Bucket List — And You Won’t Believe What’s On It! (EXCLUSIVE)

7. Bo Derek: “It opens your heart to be surrounded by inspirational people”

Bo Derek preparing to go onstage during a USO Holiday Entertainment tour in 2001 Memorial Day quotes
Bo Derek preparing to go onstage during a USO Holiday Entertainment tour in 2001 Greg Mathieson/Mai/Getty

10 star Bo Derek said that serving as a chairperson for disabled veterans with the VA was a great honor. As she described it, “Those volunteer activities really ground you. It really does feel good and it balances stress. It opens up your brain, your heart and then to be surrounded by people who are so inspirational is good.”

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