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.
Things are happening in Alaska
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- Gov. Dunleavy has reversed himself and declared support for subsidized broadband internet for rural libraries and a free service allowing online tutors for students. The governor had previously vetoed the $809,200 in funding.
- A 19-mile stretch of the Parks Highway was closed some 80 miles north of Anchorage, as authorities called for the evacuation of a subdivision that only has one road in and out.
- Master Gardener Ed Buyarski describes how humans can intervene and help out with the pollination process.
- Prospective candidates must file by Monday, Aug. 19.