On Monday morning, a routine trip down Elk Grove Boulevard turned into a chance for some parents to educate their children on the true meaning of Memorial Day, as well as a chance for others to learn more themselves.
The lawn of the headquarters was covered in 2,012 American flags by Elk Grove City Council Member Sophia Scherman and her husband, Lee. The honors the memory of Sophia Scherman's uncle, Frank Lara Chavez, a Navy corpsman who died in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.
Elk Grove resident and Air Force veteran Daniel Moore and his wife said they hoped to teach their son to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day.
Eric Nunes, who lives just outside of Elk Grove, agreed.
"I'm trying to show him a little bit about what today's about," he said as he gestured to his son, who was holding a flag freshly plucked from the Cosumnes Community Services District lawn.
Daniel Martinez spent several minutes poring over a display of medals and honors given to Chavez before returning to his car with several flags for his kids.
"It was just interesting because I'd never seen something like this before," he said.
A few blocks down the street, Memorial Day was marked with a much more somber and formal ceremony at a historic cemetery operated by the Elk Grove-Cosumnes Cemetery District.
Council Member Gary Davis spoke at the event, thanking soldiers who gave their lives and urging attendees to make their lives meaningful.
"What you do matters," Davis said. "Your service will matter and define a generation. Everything you do in this community matters to someone."