Thousands of local people, young and old, turned out on Tuesday to welcome home the troops of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.
The support from local people was fantastic. Over 500 school children, including children from St Marks in Freemantle joined in, enthusiastically waving flags. A 40ft Union Jack blew in the wind over the parade, suspended from a crane.
It was a proud day for those soldiers receiving their service medals. It was also very emotional given the recent escalation of casualties in Afghanistan as the fighting there intensifies.
The important thing is that Southampton showed unequivocally that we are behind our men and women serving in the forces at a time of war and that we value enormously the personal sacrifices that they are making for freedom.