Traffic through Rincon from 10 a.m. to noon the day of parade will be altered. Northbound traffic on Highway 21 will be diverted onto Fort Howard Road and then to Rincon-Stillwell Road and Highway 275.
Southbound traffic will be diverted onto Highway 275 and then to Rincon-Stillwell Road and Fort Howard Road. Law enforcement officers from the Rincon Police Department, Effingham County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol will be posted at major intersections.
Rincon Police will place barricades or officers on Highway 21 at its intersections with 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 17th streets and Middleground and Fort Howard roads.
Alpha Battery of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 118th Field Artillery Battalion will take its first steps on its deployment to Afghanistan marching through the heart of Springfield and Rincon on Tuesday morning.
The parade route will take troops from their armory in Springfield to Highway 119 north and then to the county administrative complex on Laurel Street for a 10 a.m. ceremony.
The ceremony at the county administrative complex will be the official send-off for the battery. The troops will form up for the reading of their deployment orders, followed by a recognition of the troops and presentations of the flags from the county and the cities that will go with the troops to their stations in Afghanistan. A proclamation signed by the county commission chairman and the mayors of the cities will be presented.
The unit will proceed down Laurel Street and eventually to Highway 21. They will march through Rincon, stopping at city hall for a ceremony.
The Junior ROTCs from Effingham County and South Effingham high schools will participate in the parade in honor of the battery. The ECHS band and Air Force JROTC will march with the troops through Springfield to Stillwell Road.
When the parade arrives at the foot of the railroad viaduct in Rincon, the troops will begin their march through Rincon. The SEHS band and Navy JROTC will accompany the troops to city hall.
“We have had a tremendous response from the community in preparing for this event,” said planning committee spokesperson Ruth Lee. “I just wonder how we can do any less for our own Minutemen who once again are going out to protect the freedom we cherish so much. It really is a time on Tuesday morning for all of us to lay aside anything else on our plan for the day and come out to show our patriotism in support of our Alpha Battery. It is important to these troops and the families they leave behind to know that the community knows they are going and wishes them God’s speed and protection and that we will gather around the families left behind.”
Citizens are urged to plan to be along the parade route Tuesday morning, waving their flags, banners and posters to show their spirit of the citizens of the county in support of the troops. The cities of Springfield and Rincon will be handing out flags to citizens along the route. Citizens, businesses or groups and secure small, hand-held flags from the Effingham Chamber of Commerce at 25 cents per flag, with a minimum purchase of a batch of 25 flags.