Decorating the warrior graves predates history. With a Presidential decree in 1966, Memorial Day became the official day of memorial for fallen soldiers.
The US Memorial Day tradition dates to the Civil War with several claims as the first Decoration Day or Memorial Day. Confederate women decorated the graves of dead soldiers as early as 1861. By 1865, many cities decorated Civil War graves.
After spending the morning to decorate graves, many Americans use the day to barbecue with friends and family or take the day at the beach. Memorial Day traditional activities include flag football, Frisbee and pie eating contests.