The gravestone of S.M. (Orlie) Alwardt in Oak Grove Cemetery in Oak Bluffs is decorated with all manner of birds and small creatures. There is a birdhouse and feeder, filled with fresh seed. There is a red cardinal, a bluebird, a glass hummingbird and a stone cat sitting at the base of the headstone. And there is an American flag, placed in the ground earlier this week as it is every year to honor the veteran on Memorial Day weekend.

There is an American flag at the grave of Arthur King Sr., a World War I veteran, and Frank Haskins Williams who served in the Navy in World War II. There is a flag for infantryman WM Shields, and World War I veterans William Lynch and Arthur King Sr., buried next to each other.

The American flags dot the landscape, blowing quietly in the breeze, at all the cemeteries around the Island as they do every year remembering those who served.

Bruce Montrose, director of veterans services, and his many volunteers fanned out all week to mark the graves in preparation for the holiday weekend, which this year will be unlike any other Memorial Day. This would have been Mr. Montrose’s first year leading the festivities, after taking over from longtime veterans services director Jo Ann Murphy,who retired last fall.

Mr. Montrose said he has been on the phone in recent weeks with representatives from around the state, all coming together to try and figure out how to honor veterans during a pandemic.

“It’s like running a needle through all this and trying to create a patchwork on the other side,” he said. “Each town around the state is trying to do a little something.”

During a normal year, Monday would begin with the avenue of the flags at Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven followed by the parade later in the day.

“Of course the parade is always a highlight but it’s not going to happen this year, this public outpouring of thanks,” Mr. Montrose said. “The veterans, when they see that, it goes to the heart.”

Families can still drive by the avenue of flags on Memorial Day but the exact time for the traditional raising of the flags will remain unannounced to avoid possible crowding.

“The flags will be half-staff until a point in the afternoon when they will be raised to full-staff,” Mr. Montrose said.

The pandemic has also forced another Vineyard institution, the march to the sea tradition by Island schoolkids, to take creative measures. Ordinarily on Friday, the Edgartown School students would walk from the school to Memorial Wharf and drop flowers in the harbor to honor veterans.

“This is my first year here so I was looking forward to it,” said principal Shelley Einbinder. “But we are trying to do the best we can.”

The school is collaborating with the town to create a video that will be posted on the school and town websites for all to see. The footage will be pre-recorded and will include children reciting the poem O Captain! My Captain!, and reading the Gettysburg Address. Seventh grader Jameson Whitmarsh will play taps.

Edgartown town administrator James Hagerty gathered with a small group on Wednesday to record his part in the video.

“We did a little procession with the selectmen, the fire chief and the police chief and put flowers in the water at Memorial Wharf,” Mr. Hagerty said.

For Ms. Einbinder it was all about keeping the tradition going. The video will be posted on the school website at 11 a.m. on Friday.

“We thought about what we could do together that has some elements of the march to the sea but that didn’t attract crowds” she said. “I’m glad we are working to continue these traditions.”

In Chilmark, principal Susan Steven is making use of the new technology her teachers and students have mastered during the pandemic to create a new style of tradition. Recently, they have been using flip grids, where teachers and students can upload short videos. In gym class, for example, students have been sharing videos of themselves doing calisthenics. Now, for Memorial Day, they will upload videos of themselves reading poems and notes they have written to honor veterans.

“A couple of kids will place flowers in different locations and film that,” Ms. Stevens said, adding that this will not be at the Dutcher Dock as she doesn’t want to encourage any crowds at the dock.

The resulting videos will form a grid on the school website for students and parents to see. Ms. Stevens will contribute a video, too. “I will be remembering my brother who was a marine,” she said.

In Vineyard Haven, Tisbury School students usually walk from the school to Owen Park where they toss flowers in the harbor. Flowers will still be the focus of the tradition, said school principal John Custer, and they will still float in the harbor.

“From noon to 1 p.m. on Friday we have invited families to drive through the front loop of the school and bring flowers to place in bins,” he said. “It will be similar to the food distribution, where families can remain in their vehicles. Later in the day, school staff will bring the flowers to Owen Park on behalf of the community.”

The school will lower the flag to half-mast earlier in the day but that moment will be private, Mr. Custer said. “We will say the Pledge of Allegiance, play taps and sing the National Anthem,” he said. “It’s not the same, but it is something.”

There will also be a national moment of remembrance on Monday with a minute of silence at 3 p.m.

Aaron Wilson contributed reporting.