The City of Ripley honored veterans on Monday with a parade and special service on the courthouse lawn.
During the parade, over 170 veterans were remembered and thanked for their service. Antique cars, military vehicles, and floats decorated with balloons and flags drove through the streets. Parade-goers lined the route to appreciate those who have served and are still serving in military positions.
Patrick Simon, Army veteran and evening anchor for WOWK 13 News, was the speaker for the event located on the courthouse lawn in Ripley. Simon is a 30 year member of the Army Reserves and National Guard where he earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and fought in Iraq. He is an avid runner with a passion for serving his country.
Simon spoke about his hero, a gentleman whom he served with in the military, Captain Darby Boudreaux. Now a Major, Boudreaux was injured badly in the line of duty, but his passion and love for his country couldn’t stop him from making a comeback. Boudreaux over came his injury and went back into battle once again.
“He is a special type of hero, who went to war, was critically injured and worked so hard just to have an opportunity to return to the battlefield to finish the mission,” Simon said. “I am profoundly impacted by his bravery, and he is the reason why we should never forget our brave men and women who have fought and served so that we can be free,”
The Ladies of Liberty took the stage following Simon, and perform several patriotic songs as well as the National Anthem at the beginning of the ceremony. Their enthusiasm and love for the military warmed the crowd.
Boy Scout Troop 419 took the stage for the final presentation of the event by demonstrating the proper way to dispose of an American Flag. They raised the flag for one last flight, lowered it down, cut out the blue section with the stars then each individual stripe before placing them into the fire for the final farewell.
From a quilt presentation to two local veterans to the placement of the memorial wreath, speaker, and special singers, the love for our country and our veterans rang loud and proud in the city Ripley.