It seemed like a simple quarantine-style fifth birthday for Deacon Wright on Wednesday, April 8. His parents, Amy Jo and Lance, posted a sign in the front yard of their West Forsyth home that said, “Honk!!! it’s MY Birthday!!!” Then they sat in lawn chairs and waited.
Around 5 p.m., Deacon discovered his parents had way more in store for his birthday.
First there came a parade of Deacon’s friends, family and even teachers past the Wright’s house to wish Deacon a happy birthday. They honked their horns. They shot silly-string.
But it got better: a family friend, William Sessa, who works with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, organized the Crime Reduction Unit to join the parade for Deacon.
Down the street they came, lights flashing. One vehicle parked in the middle of a nearby cul-de-sac as others stopped in front of Deacon to deliver him a message.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re looking for a very, very special person today,” a deputy said over their vehicle’s speaker. “Today is Deacon’s fifth birthday, and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Reduction Unit would like to wish him a very special birthday.”
Then they sang, “Happy Birthday” to a bashful Deacon.
Georgia’s shelter-in-place order has been hard on Deacon. He’s missed his family, friends and teachers, Amy Jo said. She’d seen other “birthday parades” on social media and thought it would lift Deacon’s spirits and make his birthday special even under difficult circumstances.
Judging by Deacon’s smile, she was right.
“The smile on his face getting to see his friends, family and even some of his teachers was a gift directly from God,” Amy Jo wrote on a Facebook post.
She added, “To the sheriff's office: I’m so proud to be part of the community where you will go out of your way to come out and make a 5-year-old boy feel special on his birthday!"