BLOOMINGTON — Veterans Day will be commemorated in the Twin Cities with ceremonies Saturday in downtown Bloomington, Friday at Illinois State University and Thursday at Heartland Community College.
Louis E. Davis American Legion Post 56 will coordinate the annual Veterans Day ceremony, which will begin 11 minutes before 11 a.m. Saturday on the east side of the McLean County Museum of History in downtown Bloomington. All veterans of McLean County will be honored.
One round of blank ammunition will be fired every minute until 11 a.m., said post Commander Roy Jones.
The keynote speaker will be Illinois Army National Guard Maj. Bradley E. Roach, whose overseas deployments include Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently he is assigned to the U.S. Property & Fiscal Office for the Guard in Springfield.
A combined Color Guard comprising members of the Post 56 of Bloomington, Carl S. Martin American Legion Post 635 of Normal, the Central Illinois Leathernecks, the John H. Kraus Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454 of Bloomington, McLEan County Memorial AmVets Post 270 and Chapter 60 of the Disabled American Veterans will render honors to the flag.
The Post 56 ladies auxiliary will have poppies available before the ceremony. Proceeds from poppy donations go toward helping veterans in Veterans Affairs medical centers as well as local child welfare programs.
The museum staff will have scarves to thank veterans for their service available to the first 150 veterans at the ceremony.
The museum also will host a program of World War I music at 1 p.m. after the ceremony.
ISU's annual ceremony will be at noon Friday in the Bone Student Center Prairie Room on the Normal campus. The free, public event will include a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.
The featured speaker will be Ross Kennedy, chairman of the ISU history department, whose research focuses on World War I, the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, and U.S. foreign relations. ISU President Larry Dietz also will deliver remarks to honor veterans.
ISU Army ROTC cadets will participate in the ceremony by posting the colors and providing the invocation and benediction. Following the ceremony, flowers will be laid at the flagpole on the quad and taps will be played.
Heartland will honor veterans with a special presentation by President Rob Widmer and others at 1 p.m. Thursday in the cafe in the Student Commons Building on the Normal campus.