The inspiration of a noble cause involving human interests wide
and far, enables men to do things they did not dream themselves
capable of before, and which they were not capable of alone. The
consciousness of belonging, vitally, to something beyond
individuality; of being part of a personality that reaches we know
not where, in space and time, greatens the heart to the limit of the
soul’s ideal, and builds out the supreme of character.
Joshua L. Chamberlain (Battle of Gettysburg commander)
October 3, 1889
Monument Dedication Ceremony
(If you've never read "Killer Angels", by Michael Shaara, then I heartily recommend it as one of the finest books on the struggle between the states (specifically about the Battle at Gettysburgh) that you'll ever read.)
I had to add this one as well, this being Veterans Day and all:
"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