Memorial Day is both the start of summer and a weekend to honor fallen service men and women. This is a big responsibility, carrying both reverence and anticipation in equal measures.

The weekend’s heartfelt offerings begin on Friday, May 26 with a tradition by Island schoolchildren. The Edgartown School, Tisbury School and the Chilmark School all host marches to the sea where the children walk down to the harbors (or in Chilmark’s case are bused to the harbor as it is much further away) to place flowers into the waters to commemorate those who have given their lives for the country.

The Tisbury School begins its march at 12:30 p.m., the Edgartown School at 1 p.m. and the Chilmark School at 9 a.m., weather permitting. All are welcome to share in these events.

A March for Heroes takes place on Saturday, May 27, with a 26.2-mile route raising funds for veterans organizations.

The Memorial Day parade begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29 at the American Legion Hall, 34 William street in Vineyard Haven with the route ending at the Oak Grove Cemetery. Flags go up at the Avenue of Flags at the Oak Grove Cemetery at 7:30 a.m., and will come down at 3 p.m.

After the parade it’s off to the annual Memorial Day Picnic, held from noon to 4 p.m. at Tashmoo Spring Building, 400 West Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. There will be ice cream provided by town of Tisbury, plus grills, rowboating, chalk art, games and music by the Flying Elbows. Attendees are asked to bring your picnic, but not your dogs. Llamas, however, are welcome.

Here comes summer.