Special needs advocate visits Juneau to reach goal of singing national anthem in every state

Mayor Beth Weldon presents Ashley DeRamus with a certificate honoring her for being the first person with Down Syndrome to sing the national anthem in all 50 states. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon presents Ashley DeRamus with a certificate honoring her for being the first person with Down syndrome to sing the national anthem in all 50 states. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

An Alabama woman visiting Juneau became the first person with Down syndrome to sing the national anthem in all 50 states on Monday.

Ashley DeRamus is an advocate for people with Down syndrome. She started her quest to sing the anthem in every state in California in 2013. She and her family chose Juneau for their final stop.

DeRamus sang before a small crowd in front of the USS Juneau Memorial on the seawalk.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon congratulated DeRamus for accomplishing her goal and gave her a key to the city.

“We’re just very honored that Ashley chose Juneau and Alaska to be the last state and the last city in which she sang the national anthem,” Weldon said.

DeRamus said she was inspired to sing her way across the country by her best friend, Claudette.

“She’s the one who told me, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Show them what you can do,’” DeRamus said.

DeRamus is also a fashion designer and public speaker.

She said her next goal is to try skydiving.

Ashley DeRamus recites the Pledge of Allegiance with members of Capital City Fire/Rescue. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

Ashley DeRamus recites the Pledge of Allegiance with members of Capital City Fire/Rescue. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

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