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Members of the American Legion Honor Guard position their firearms in the air for a 21-gun salute during the 2017 Veterans Day observance outside the McLean County Museum of History in downtown Bloomington.

NORMAL — Several Veterans Day ceremonies are planned Friday and this weekend in the Twin Cities to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.

Veterans Day is traditionally observed at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the same time as the armistice was signed.

Illinois State University will hold its ceremony from noon to 1 p.m. Friday in Bone Student Center’s Prairie Room North. The event is free and open to the public.

ISU Army ROTC cadets will post the colors, and provide the invocation and benediction. ISU President Larry Dietz will deliver remarks. Featured speaker will be Jess Ray, university registrar and director of Veterans and Military Services at ISU. Because of ongoing construction at the Bone, the usual outdoor portion of the ceremony will not be held.

Veterans can pick up commemorative yellow ribbons from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at Veterans and Military Services, 112 Moulton Hall, and at the entrance to the Prairie Room. 

The traditional Twin City observance coordinated by Bloomington American Legion Post 56 will be on the east side of the McLean County Museum of History, 200 N. Main St., Bloomington, on Sunday.

The ceremony will begin at 10:49 a.m. with the firing of a rifle each minute leading up to 11 a.m., the official time that World War I was declared over. ISU's Sesquicentennial Bell will celebrate "Bells for Peace" as part of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission's commemoration.

A combined color guard will render honors to the flag, including: American Legion Post 56, Bloomington; American Legion Post 635, Normal; AmVets Post 270; Central Illinois Leathernecks; Disabled American Veterans, chapter 60; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454.

The keynote speaker will be First Sgt. Michael A. Rivera Jr. of the Illinois Army National Guard.

Ladies Auxiliary of Post 56 will have poppies for sale before the ceremony. Proceeds benefit veterans in VA hospitals and local child welfare programs.

Illinois Wesleyan University will hold a brief ceremony at 10:45 a.m. Monday at the flag pole on Eckley Quad. In case of rain, the ceremony will take place in Evelyn Chapel.

And, the Heartland Community College chapter of Student Veterans of America will host a program from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Monday in the Campus Cafe in the Student Commons Building. A reception will follow.

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