Decked out in red, white and blue, first and second graders in the after-school baton twirling club at the Edgartown School held their batons out and up, twirling them in circles and figure eights. They had an important task on Friday afternoon: leading the school’s annual March to the Sea in honor of Memorial Day.

Sienna Crowell and Olivia Coyle join Martin V. (Skip) Tomassian to place flowers at plaques honoring Edgartown veterans. — Jeanna Shepard

“Look, we’re famous,” one small baton twirler said excitedly as parents gathered around to take pictures. At 1 p.m. they were off, followed by their schoolmates, marching down the middle of the street from the school to Memorial Wharf.

The parade paused before the court house, where kindergartners Olivia Coyle and Sienna Crowell laid flowers on the plaques honoring Edgartonians who went to war.

At the wharf, the parade was greeted by the Eagle band, directed by Zach Tileston. Sixth graders Sara Creato and Brendan Donnelly led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

Singer and Gazette reporter/photographer Mark Lovewell sang two songs about those who had to leave their homes to the sea. Kids joined in on the choruses, singing “and the larks they sang melodious” and “leave her, Johnny, leave her.”

Chilmark school students fill sea with flowers at Menemsha Harbor. — Albert O. Fischer

Seventh graders recited Oh Captain, My Captain from memory. Meg Sykes introduced the poem.

“It reminds us the impact our military has made. It also reminds us the influence of a single leader,” she said.

The Eagle Band then played a mash-up of patriotic songs. A few young children marched in time with the music, holding their small flags high in the wind.

Special speaker Martin V. (Skip) Tomassian, a Viet Nam veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star, spoke about the importance of Memorial Day.

Edgartown seventh graders tossed flowers into Edgartown Harbor in honor of the fallen. — Jeanna Shepard

“I was thinking this morning, across the country children and parents will go to parades like this, the kids will sit on the sidewalk and wave their flags, they might go to the beach this weekend . . . and that’s good,” he said. “Today, this weekend and Monday are days to be with family and remember.”

Mr. Tomassian had the children stand and repeat after him the opening lyrics to Proud to be an American.

“That’s all, kids,” he said. “Don’t forget days like this.”

Eighth graders recited the Gettysburg Address are an introduction by Catherine Cherry. Then seventh graders collected flowers from the lower classmen and tossed the flowers off the wharf into the sea.

Seventh grader Parker Ben David closed the event, playing Taps on his trumpet. Bethany Cardoza provided the echo.

More photos from March to the Sea.