The City of Richmond Hill has always had many Fourth of July traditions, but this year things have changed a little bit. Richmond Hill held the very first homecoming parade for the Army's Third Infantry Division soldiers.
People started lining the streets of Richmond Hill by nine this morning. Everyone was eager to catch a glimpse of some of the soldiers who have already returned. Many residents like Clayton Smith are honored to have this parade in their city. "This is where it should be," said Smith, "close to Fort Stewart. This is home. I hope they all come back healthy."
Vicky Davis agreed. "It's showing everyone out there that Richmond Hill supports the troops," she explained.
It was hard to miss the show of support. Streams of red, white and blue ribbon decorated the street. As soldiers marched by, they were greeted with a standing ovation and cheers. Jesse Smith whispered as they passed, "God bless them, God bless them, God take care of you."
Many of the people who waved flags and watched this homecoming parade also thought about what they would say to our soldiers if they were given the chance. "Being ex-military and my husband is retired military, we just like to thank them for what they do," Cynthia Taylor said, as she held her daughter. Tina Gambell added, "I just wish they would come home as soon as possible."