Although Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season, it’s rooted in a solemn observation: Honoring America’s fallen heroes. A number of events are planned around Kewaunee County for that purpose.

Memorial Day – originally known as Decoration Day – stems from the ancient tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers but gained momentum as a national holiday beginning in 1868, when Gen. John A. Logan, commander of the veterans group Grand Army of the Republic after the U.S. Civil War, issued a proclamation calling for Decoration Day to be observed every year nationwide.

“Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude – the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan,” the proclamation said.

+ The Community Congregational Church, 502 Center St., Kewaunee, is having a special Memorial Day service at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. Everyone is welcome.

+ Luxemburg American Legion Post 262 plans Memorial Day services beginning at 10 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial in front of the Bank of Luxemburg (pictured) with a wreath presentation, rifle squad and taps. A program is planned at 10:30 a.m. at the Community Center, 206 Maple St.

Leading up to the services, two rifle squads will visit cemeteries across the area starting shortly after 7 a.m. At each site the squads will have a prayer, a volley and the sounding of taps.

+ Algoma Legion Post 236 plans a 10 a.m. parade from the elementary school, 514 Fremont St., to Legion Park, where a service will be held with speakers and music. Algoma school bands are expected to participate.

+ Kewaunee Legion Post 29 will assemble at Lincoln and Juneau streets at 9 a.m. and proceed to Atrium Post Acute Care, 1308 Lincoln St., for a ceremony at 9:45 a.m. The color guard, veterans and rifle squad will then join other parade units at Kewaunee High School.

The parade will start at 10:15 a.m., heading to Riverview Cemetery, then down Miller, Second and Vliet streets to Holy Rosary Church Cemetery, and finally to the Courthouse.

A program at the Courthouse at 11 a.m. will include speaker Nicholas Zellner of Kewaunee High School, the high school band, invocation by Rev. Dr. John Wallace, and the reading of the Roll of Honor recognizing all Kewaunee County veterans who have passed away since last Memorial Day.