Ripley prepares to mark Veterans Day with parade, ceremonies
RIPLEY — The city of Ripley is ready for its Veterans Day observance on Nov. 11.
More than 500 veterans who served the nation will be honored during the Veterans Day parade and ceremony.
Maj. Gen. Allen E. Tackett is the grand marshal of the 10 a.m. parade and the guest speaker at the 11 a.m. ceremony.
Tackett was adjutant general of the West Virginia Army National Guard and served with Special Forces for 25 years. He received the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal among other awards.
The parade begins near Ripley High and proceeds on Church and Main streets to the Jackson County Courthouse where the ceremony takes place at the Veterans Memorial on the lawn. Patriotic music will be provided by the Ripley High School Choir.
This year’s Military Honor March salutes more than 500 veterans from Jackson County and across the region. The march is comprised of posters with the names and photos of those who have served from the Revolutionary War to the present.
Mayor Carolyn Rader said Ripley borrowed the idea from a similar event in New York City.
“We noticed a magazine article with the parade spectators holding photograph posters honoring veterans,” she said. “We thought it was a great idea, but we wanted to take it one step further. Our posters are actually in the parade, too. Many of them are carried by our students, 4-H’ers and family members.
“It takes hundreds of volunteers to have an event such as this,” Rader said. “We are very appreciative of our young people stepping up to help out.”
Sons of the American Revolution will serve as the parade color guard.
Daughters of the American Revolution will have a parade float. The Ripley Baptist Tabernacle Church’s award-winning Iwo Jima float also is entered.
Also in the parade are the West Virginia National Guard’s 249th Army Band, the Ravenswood High School Marching Band and the Ripley High School Marching Band.