As Memorial Day weekend arrives, Island students will once again lead the way in paying tribute to those who gave the greatest sacrifice for their country.

The annual March to the Sea traditions on Friday at the Edgartown, Tisbury and Chilmark schools put the elementary school students center stage and on the water with each event culminating in students tossing flowers into the sea in honor of servicemen and women everywhere.

In Edgartown, students will leave the school at 1 p.m. and walk into town, stopping at the WWII and Korean War memorials at the courthouse. The parade continues down Main street, turning at Water street and gathering at the Reading Room at South Wharf where the seventh graders will read Walt Whitman’s poem O Captain! My Captain and the eighth graders will read the Gettysburg Address. Maj. James Hagerty, a former marine and the town administrator, will be the guest speaker.

In Tisbury, school children begin their walk to Owen Park at 12:15 p.m. led by the school band, with the eighth graders looking out for the younger grades.

In Chilmark, students leave the school at 9 a.m. and travel to Coast Guard Station Menemsha to hear first-hand about life in the military and the significance of Memorial Day. Then they walk down the hill to Dutcher Dock, and after a time for sharing about what the day means to them, and the playing of taps by fifth graders Lucy Doyle and Moses Thomson, the students will throw flowers into the harbor.

The Island continues its Memorial Day traditions on Monday, with a parade in Vineyard Haven, stepping off from the American Legion Post 257 at 10:30 a.m. and proceeding to the Avenue of Flags in Oak Grove Cemetery. This year’s guest speaker is Randy Dull, veterans service officer for Dukes County.

At noon on Monday, the annual Memorial Day picnic begins at Tashmoo Waterworks at 400 West Spring Street, returning after a three-year hiatus. The event features live music, boating, games and free ice cream. Everyone is welcome and the VTA bus stops at Tashmoo Overlook from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Note, dogs are not invited.