The community is being encouraged to line the procession route to show respect as the body of U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda is returned home to Highland Monday.
Ripperda, 26, was killed on March 18 in an explosion during a training exercise at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada.
The remains of Cpl. Ripperda arrive at Lambert Field in St. Louis on Monday at 2:30 p.m. The Illinois State Police escort will arrive in Highland sometime between 4 and 4:30 p.m. The route will take southbound Illinois Route 143 into Highland and continue along Walnut to Broadway; then east on Broadway to Meridith Funeral Home.
The Highalnd Fire Department will be flying the garrison flag over Broadway when Cpl. Ripperda passes by City Hall.
Visitation for Cpl. Ripperda will be from 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2 from and again from 8 to 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3 at Meridith Funeral Home in Highland. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on April 3 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, with Father Scott Snider, parochial vicar, officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Carlyle.
Volunteers are also being sought to help put up and take down American flags to honor Ripperda, a 2005 Highland High School graduate.
Volunteers are needed to place approximately 2,200 American flags along the streets in Highland and later to take them down after the funeral. Volunteers should meet at the Highland VFW at 1900 VFW Road in Highland at 4 p.m. Sunday to put up the flags. To take down the flags, volunteers should meet at the VFW at 4 p.m. April 3.
For more information about volunteering to place the flags, contact Chip Shaffer at 567-5315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.