For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

In the news or even on the streets, you may have spotted a tattooed quote which reads “For those I love I will sacrifice” but you might not know that there’s a story to it. This inspirational quote actually gained much of its popularity after 9/11, but there is quite a lot more to it than that.

Today we’ll give you the history of the quote, as well as the symbolism behind it, and we’ll even touch on popular placement for this inspirational message that resonates in the hearts of so many. Let’s talk about ‘For those I love I will sacrifice’ tattoos!


What is the History of For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos?

Sometimes it’s tricky to trace down quotes that have gained notoriety in skin art, but in this case we know the story. For those I love I will sacrifice tattoos became popular after an article appeared in Stars and Stripes magazine, which described the difficulty that MEDEVAC pilots had in getting wounded troops to medical facilities in time.

One Army Private First Class by the name of Kyle Hockenberry was who had been injured by an IED/improvised explosive device was photographed as he was being treated by Corporal Amanda Mosher while on a MEDEVAC helicopter en route to a hospital in Kandahar.

The words tattooed on right side of his ribcage read “For those I love I will sacrifice’, a quote from a song called “Hallowed be thy name” by punk band Indecision. We don’t know whether he knew of the song or if the words simply ‘felt right’, but his sacrifice for his country made the quote something close to prophetic.

Many were inspired by the picture of this soldier, who lost both of his legs and part of his left arm in service of his country, and post 9/11 many others began tattooing this quote on themselves. It started with a song, a soldier, and a picture in ‘Stars and Stripes’ but the rest, as they say, is history.


What Do For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos Symbolize?

Symbolism is not something that is set in stone, but which rather evolves over time.

The symbolism of For those I love I will sacrifice tattoos first symbolized a love of the lyrics from the punk band, Indecision, but then came to symbolize the sacrifice that Private First Class Hockenberry made for his country.

Now, with others adopting the inspirational quote, it represents a willingness to give everything for those who are important in one’s life though it may retain some of the meaning of the rest of the quote. From the song’s original lyrics, this comes out to:

 ”For those I love I will sacrifice… not for those I’ve never seen. Hallowed be thy name”.

Symbolism evolves and it’s a tricky thing, sometimes, but there you have it. Do with it what you will!


What Do For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos Mean?

The meaning of these tattoos is pretty refreshingly direct.

For those I love I will sacrifice tattoos mean that the owner cares enough for those close to them that they are willing to do without, or even more if it comes right down to it.

It’s ultimately a statement of the kind of love that is willing to give until there is nothing left for the ones who are important to them and it states a loyalty beyond compare and the willingness to do what needs to be done.

These tattoos are, in essence, a sort of oath rendered in ink. They proclaim to the world that the owner does not love lightly, but rather with all of their heart, to the point that they would do without so that their loved ones never have to.


Where Do For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos Usually Go?

Hockenberry’s placement was a bold one, with the quote emblazoned in a large, predominantly cursive font on the right ride of his ribcage, starting from a few inches below the armpit down to the termination of the lower ribs.

That’s not the only place you can put it, of course, and many who also wear this quote simply display it on their arm where it might be easily seen, while others may prefer a more intimate or minimal placement at the hip or at the ankle.

Others like to display this quote proudly on their backs, often as part of a larger arrangement that helps to quantify the statement as it applies to them and what they are willing to sacrifice for. Like any good symbolism, it’s like an arrow that you target by the context or the lack thereof.  


Characteristics and Styles of For Those I Love I Will Sacrifice Tattoos

With a quote, you still have a lot of choices for the characteristics and the styles employed. Some may have the iconic phrase written in Runes or if English is a second language, then they might have it rendered in their native tongue.

It could be rendered with minimalism, a small quote with a big message, displayed proudly for all to see or even hidden, with the willingness to sacrifice being a private, but nonetheless heartfelt thing. Comical and exaggerated New School style is not unheard of, but more often that not it will be about selecting the right font.

It’s the words that have the weight, after all, so one who is considering this tattoo would be well-served if they simply looked at their artists portfolio to see various quote tattoos that have been done in the past, until they find a script that simply feels like the right one.


Some closing words on this famous quote

Now that you know the story, this impactful quote certainly has a little more weight to it. Quote tattoos are a powerful choice, as they have a knack for putting into words things which we often mean but so often cannot summarily express.

Just be sure to take a little time to think about placement, font, and even the stylistic choices. It’s definitely a powerful message and it tells the world and the ones that you love basically everything that they need to know!

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