From the Wiki:
bq. commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.
Get with it Americans !!!
I like the thought that we honor those who have gotten us to where we are today.
The day is set aside to memorialize those who died. LOL, some did not die but warrent memory also. Some went 'only' near death, some did not die but realized a fate that may be worse. They are patriots all !!