Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday, falling on 11 November in 2012 and traditionally observed on the Sunday closest to this date, marks the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in the First World War. It serves as a day to reflect upon those who have given their lives for the sake of peace and freedom.

We have selected a number of memorable, meaningful and moving quotes from the Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations to commemorate the fallen.

“We make war that we may live in peace.”
Aristotle 384-322 BC Greek philosopher


Wilfred Owen 1893-1918 English poet


“Justice inclines her scales so that wisdom comes at the price of suffering.”
Aeschylus c.525-456 BC Greek tragedian


“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.”
Rupert Brooke 1887-1915 English poet


Laurence Binyon 1869-1943 English poet


“Old soldiers never die.”
Proverb early 20th century


“At eleven o’clock this morning came to an end the cruellest and most terrible war that has ever scourged mankind. I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came to an end all wars.”
David Lloyd George 1863-1945 British Liberal statesman, Prime Minister 1916-22


“Let war yield to peace, laurels to paeans.”
Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) 106-43 BC Roman statesman, orator, and writer


“And some there be, which have no memorial… and are become as though they had never been born…
But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten…
Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.
Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.”
The Bible, Apocrypha (authorized version, 1611)


“When you go home, tell them of us and say,
‘For your tomorrow we gave our today.’”
Kohima memorial to the Burma campaign of the Second World War, from a poem by John Maxwell Edmonds


John McCrae 1872–1918 Canadian poet, doctor, soldier


“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”
John F. Kennedy 1917–63 US Democratic statesman and thirty-fifth president of the USA (1961–63)


“In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.”
Winston Churchill 1874–1965 Prime Minister 1940-45, 1951-55


The Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations fifth edition was published in October this year and is edited by Susan Ratcliffe. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations seventh edition was published in 2009 to celebrate its 70th year. The ODQ is edited by Elizabeth Knowles.

The Oxford DNB online has made the lives of Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, and Laurence Binyon free to access for a limited time. The ODNB is freely available via public libraries across the UK. Libraries offer ‘remote access’ allowing members to log-on to the complete dictionary, for free, from home (or any other computer) twenty-four hours a day. In addition to 58,000 life stories, the ODNB offers a free, twice monthly biography podcast with over 130 life stories now available. You can also sign up for Life of the Day, a topical biography delivered to your inbox, or follow @ODNB on Twitter for people in the news. The ODNB  also has a special free access area about the First World War, called Armistice lives.


Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only language, lexicography, word, etymology, and dictionary articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
View more about the Little Oxford Book of Quotations on the  
View more about the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations on the

Recent Comments

  1. Annie Morgan

    Thank you for your fine choice on this day of remembrance.

Comments are closed.