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.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
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- The Alaska Department of Revenue forecasts $187.3 million less in state revenue this year than it did in the spring. The department released the forecast on Friday.
- In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.
- Anchorage natural gas company ENSTAR is asking state regulators to allow it to bill its customers to recover $1 million in costs from last year's major earthquake.
- “We know many, many people are going to lose benefits because of this,” says Cara Durr with the Food Bank of Alaska.