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The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Illinois Bicentennial Office have announced that 200 veterans that will be honored during the state’s bicentennial celebration.
“We are throwing a big birthday bash at the United Center and have all kinds of Illinois celebrities and contributors,” said Stuart Layne, executive director for the Illinois bicentennial. “It is a night 200 years in the making.”
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will play the Armed Forces Medley for the first time in 15 years as the veterans are commemorated.
“The Illinois veterans have not only helped us preserve our freedom but originally fought for our freedom and so a commemoration of Illinois would be incomplete without a tribute to our veterans,” said Layne.
“What we decided we wanted to do was appreciate all our veterans from all over the country and all over the state of Illinois but thought we would find 200 veterans to represent all of those veterans,” he added.
The veterans were selected by a nomination process based on their contribution to Illinois and its residents.
“The veterans we chose to be a part of the bicentennial Honor 200 have gone above and beyond serving their fellow veterans and their communities,” Layne said.
The bicentennial party marks the 200th anniversary of Illinois becoming the 21st state of the union.
The birthday bash will be held on Dec 3 at the United Center. All Illinois residents are welcome to the celebration.
Entertainment will also include music from REO Speedwagon, Styx. and Buddy Guy and friends. There will also be a sports commemoration and parade, and a Gettysburg rap from Miquel Cervantes from “Hamilton.”
Tickets are available for $50 and $75 through Ticketmaster. Information is available at Illinois200.com.
The full list of veterans to be honored can be found <a href="https://illinois200.com/2018/10/24/illinois-department-of-veterans-affairs-and-the-illinois-bicentennial-office-announce-honor-200-recipients/">here</a>.