Decorating graves of soldiers with flowers is an ancient tradition. In America, while there is some evidence it occurred prior to, the practice took on a more-known and more-practiced tradition during and after the United States Civil War.
Memorial Day, earlier known as Decoration Day, is a tradition of remembering, honoring and decorating the graves of those who died while serving in the military with flowers and/or U.S. Flags.
This specific holiday provides a ritual expression to the themes of death, sacrifice and re-birth and, in general, provides the people of America with a renewed sense of nationalism.
Whether every U.S. citizen realizes it or not, the unparalleled freedom and liberty that we have and enjoy is definitely not free. It was taken with weapons and lives during the American Revolution and it has persevered through the centuries where tyrants, fascists and uncompromising terrorists have attempted world domination and control, again through the use of weapons and the loss of life.
While war is not the ideal solution to world political issues it has been necessary when those suppressive and oppressive individuals, such as Adolph Hitler, do not respond to reason or diplomacy, unless it was for another country to unconditionally surrender to the dictator's every wish and whim. During and following those times, when soldiers answer the call to defend their country, we are eternally grateful to them.
So, to all who served, who gave their all and more, we remember and honor you...and we thank you for your ultimate sacrifice in helping us keep our freedom intact.