Patriots Day was first held in 2005 in downtown Bloomington and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs. Patriots Day in Bloomington has also been recognized by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. This event is an opportunity for our military members and our veterans to attend a career fair during the day and culminates with a commemoration of 9/11 with patriotic ceremonies during the evening.
Another phenomenal job was done this year at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum by the event's co-founders Reginald Bernard, retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army Reserves, and Michael Mills, retired sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps/Army National Guard and Illinois Department of Employment Security veterans employment representative. Both are volunteers with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
They both put in countless hours and effort over the past year in planning this year's event.
Patriots Day ceremonies included inspirational and patriotic music and singers, speakers, many of today's soldiers, as well as having military vehicles on display outside the Coliseum.
One of the audience highlights at this year's evening ceremonies was the delivery of the 50 American flags, brought in one by one by motorcycle riders who rode into the Coliseum to the stirring music of the 144th U.S. Army Band.
We thank both Michael Mills and Reginald Bernard for their time, effort, work and for their heart and soul they put into making this event a success every year. Thank you for celebrating our soldiers.