Memorial Day means many things: parades, music, flags. But primarily, it's about remembrance, particularly of those who served this country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Monday throughout the Sacramento region, Memorial Day tributes will honor members of the military from every generation. Some events will be solemn ceremonies, others upbeat flag-waving salutes. But all share the meaning that this special day holds: Thank you to those who served.
Here's a sampling of Memorial Day events:
47TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
Where: Starts at Family Community Church, 6331 Watt Ave., North Highlands
When: 10 a.m. Monday
Presented by Veterans of Foreign wars Post 4647, this parade is one of the longest running Memorial Day tributes in the area with military color guards, marching bands, floats, drill teams, equestrian units, classic cars and more. The one-mile route runs down Watt Avenue from I Street to A Street. This year's theme: "Salute to American Defenders."
46TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE
Where: Mount Vernon Memorial Park, 8201 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks
When: 11 a.m. Monday; gates open 9 a.m.
Details: www.dignitymemorial.com, (916) 969-1251
This commemoration ranks as the largest tribute in the greater Sacramento area. Boy Scouts will erect more than 460 large U.S. flags on the cemetery grounds. The formal ceremonies will include a "Tribute to American Heroes," patriotic music, speakers, formal color guard, jet flyover and other traditional trappings.
Monday and Tuesday, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall – a 240-foot-long traveling replica of the Washington, D.C., Vietnam Veterans Memorial monument – also will be on display at the park. More than 4,000 people attended last year's Memorial Day ceremony; come early.
THIRD ANNUAL WOUNDED VETERAN RUN
Where: Folsom Parkway Trails; start at corner of North Parkway Drive and Blue Ravine Road, Folsom
When: Kids Fun Run starts at 8:30 a.m. Monday; 10K run, 9 a.m.; 3K walk and 5K run, 9:20 a.m.
Admission: For participants, 3K, $35; 5K and 10K, $40; children age 11 and under, $15
Started by a local personal trainer, this event was inspired by her brother, who was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan. Proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Project and Fallen Warriors Memorial Organization.
SALUTE TO VETERANS PAST
Where: Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
When: 10:30 a.m. Monday
Details: www.oldcitycemetery.com, (916) 448-0811
Dating back to 1849, Sacramento's oldest cemetery honors its many veterans including some from the Civil War, the original inspiration for Memorial Day (then known as Decoration Day). Free guided tours of the cemetery and its gardens are part of the event.
MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY AT COUNTY FAIR
Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday
Admission: $5; children age 12 and under admitted free; parking, $10
On its closing day, the Sacramento County Fair hosts Military Appreciation Day with free admission for any military members; just show official ID.