The Memorial Day weekend signals more than the traditional beginning of the summer vacation season.
Ceremonies and other events throughout the foothills will mark the original purpose of the holiday to honor those who died while serving in the armed forces.
Events will include color guards, memorial tributes and guest speakers. The public is invited to attend and participate in any ceremonies.
Crosses, flags and flowers will be placed on the graves of veterans throughout Tuolumne and Calaveras counties by members of veterans groups and children, including Boy Scouts and ROTC cadets.
Flags will also be placed along city streets in Mother Lode communities.
Veterans of Foreign Wars will give away handmade poppy pins and accept donations for student scholarships.
Memorial Day ceremonies:
? Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3158 will conduct a ceremony at 10 a.m. Sunday at Columbia Cemetery in Columbia.
? At noon Sunday, American Legion Post 58 will present a memorial ceremony at Mountain Shadow Cemetery in Sonora. A reception and service will follow at Sonora Veterans Memorial Hall in downtown Sonora.
? At 10 a.m. Monday, a Memorial Day ceremony conducted by American Legion Post 300 of Groveland will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery on Memorial Lane off Highway 120 between Big Oak Flat and Groveland.
At 10:30 a.m. Monday, another ceremony will be held by the post at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Big Oak Flat.
? In Calaveras County, American Legion Post 102 of Valley Springs will conduct a memorial service at 10 a.m. Monday at Jenny Lind Cemetery. Full military honors will be provided by the American Legion Honor Guard and Color Guard with help from Boy Scout Troop 302 of Valley Springs.