American pride on full display at Ripley’s 4th of July celebration
RIPLEY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – America’s “biggest small town Independence Day celebration” drew huge crowds to Church Street in Ripley on Monday.
The festivities began with a moment of silence before a performance of the national anthem where spectators paused to remember the three officers who died in Floyd County, Kentucky, as well as the late Woody Williams, the last recipient of the World War II Medal of Honor, who served as the parade grand marshal last year.
Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said Ripley’s American Pride is a longstanding tradition.
“We definitely stand on the shoulders of giants and it’s the people who have gone before us who have exemplified what we truly believe in,” she said. “We’ve had many giants in our community and they instill that love of country, family and the Lord in our city.”
Ripley resident Mike Spiker served in the military during the Vietnam War. He said Independence Day provides a chance to reflect on his service.
“Ripley supports veterans as much as anyone, if not more than anyone else,” he said. “If you’re a veteran, you appreciate that they understand that when you were spending your time in service, they were giving your time to the country.”
Jeannie Scarberry came from South Charleston to watch the parade. It’s a ritual that she says allows her to spend more time with her grandchildren.
“It’s a small town, loving, caring, everyone, family being together and celebrating family, being together and the flag.”
Rader said the values shared across Ripley will keep the town at the forefront of national pride for years to come.
“I’m just thrilled to be an American, no one is prouder than us to proclaim that we’re the biggest small town Independence Day celebration in America and no one is prouder than us.”
A replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be on display in the display room of the old Chevrolet garage free of charge from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
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