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BLOOMINGTON — Central Illinois will mark Veterans Day with several ceremonies, including the traditional ceremony in downtown Bloomington at the site of the former courthouse.

Other ceremonies also are planned at Illinois State University and Heartland Community College. All are open to the public. 

The downtown ceremony, sponsored by military veterans' organizations, begins at 10:49 a.m. Monday on the east side of the McLean County Museum of History, 200 N. Main St. One round of blank ammunition will be fired every minute until 11 a.m.

All veterans of McLean County will be honored in the program, coordinated by American Legion Post 56 of Bloomington.

Illinois Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Keith Albaugh, the recruiting and retention non-commissioned officer with Kilo Company in Springfield, will be keynote speaker. Master of ceremonies will be Bob Sable, commander of American Legion Post 56.

Honors to the flag will be rendered by a combined color guard made up of members of American Legion Post 56, Bloomington; American Legion Post 635, Normal; Amvets Post 270; Central Illinois Leathernecks; Chapter 60 of the Disabled American Veterans; and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454.

The Ladies Auxiliary of Post 56 will have poppies available before the ceremony. Proceeds from poppy donations help the veterans in Veterans Administration hospitals and benefit child welfare programs in our community.

The Heartland ceremony also will be at 11 a.m. at the Heartland Campus Café, located in the Student Commons Building of the Raab Road campus.

That event will include speaker Lt. Col John Cross (retired), a presentation of colors by student veterans, and remarks from Heartland Provost Rick Pearce and HCC Veterans Center Program Facilitator Bob Kearney.

The ISU ceremony begins at noon in the Bowling and Billiards Center Activity Room on campus. A procession to the quad flagpole will follow for attendees to lay flowers and listen to “Taps.”

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