For Memorial Day, 15 Pictures That Honor U.S. Soldiers

Military service comes in many forms: Storming a beach in Europe, cradling a child after a hurricane, sealing seams on barrage balloons.

After the Civil War, many Americans began to honor soldiers killed in the line of service with ceremonies in the spring, when flowers could be picked and laid on their graves. In 1868, a group of Union veterans established Decoration Day, the predecessor of Memorial Day, declared a Federal holiday by Congress in 1971.

Although Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War, it now honors deceased veterans of all U.S. wars. This Memorial Day, we’ve compiled photos from 1863 to the present in recognition of the men and women who have served their country.