Whether it was through his inspiring music or compassionate service, Palmer's love for all people is something his neighborhood will never forget. Palmer's parents will receive a warm welcome home from South Africa when they return to the U.S. Wednesday.
Family members and neighbors gathered at the Palmer home Tuesday evening to place yellow ribbons and yellow roses on trees and mailboxes as a symbolic gesture of support. The group also planned to wrap yellow ribbons along the route the Palmers will take home from the airport, according to Brent Page, Rowena Palmer's brother and close neighbor.
"The yellow ribbon is a sign of welcome home, of support, and that's what this neighborhood is," Page said. "We support one another, whatever the cause may be."
Many youths from the neighborhood recalled Matthew Palmer's contributions to service within the community while they participated in Tuesday's preparations.
"This (neighborhood) is all about service," said Hayden Gregersen, 12. "It feels really good."
"We’ve always known there’s a lot of support in this neighborhood, a lot of love, but I think it’s going to be impactful for them, just to have that all out in the open and be able to visualize they are all here for us," said Wight.
His family said when the LDS missionary age was dropped to 18 years old he was ready to go and put his mission papers in as quickly as he could.
"I don’t think he was released from his mission. I think he was promoted to a better place where he can do more good there than here," Workman said.
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