Several years after the end of the U.S. Civil War, Decoration Day was established by a group of Union Veterans who planted flowers on the graves of Union soldiers. In that same year a ceremony was held at what is now Arlington National Cemetery. Flowers were distributed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.
These ceremonies honoring fallen service members eventually became the modern Memorial Day. Though, many people believe that Memorial Day is a day to honor only active-duty service members who died on the battlefield, it is broader than that. There is no limitation on where that battlefield is or what it looks like: service members and Veterans continue to fight life-threatening battles every day right here on U.S. soil.