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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • Illinois Bicentennial organizers and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs have named 200 military veterans to honor during the state's 200th birthday.

Stuart Layne is executive director of the Bicentennial Commission. He says the "Bicentennial HONOR 200" recognition "is one of the most important commemorations" of the yearlong celebration. He says that "these 200 Illinois veterans truly make us 'Illinois Proud.'"

All the recipients have been invited to attend the state's official birthday celebration Dec. 3 at the United Center in Chicago.

The honorees come from more than 50 counties across Illinois. Nominees are residents of Illinois honorably discharged from the military. They were evaluated based on their achievements and their contributions to their communities.

Sponsors of the program are Boeing, Walgreens, Peoples Gas and ComEd.

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