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Ceremony provides military honors at Ill. cemetery

March 31, 2014

CLEAR LAKE, Ill. (AP) — A ceremony will be held this week to recognize a dozen veterans who were buried in a central Illinois cemetery without military honors.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/1of9WEx ) that Wednesday’s ceremony at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Clear Lake will have representatives from four branches of the military and include taps and a 21-gun salute.

“We are a family,” said Gael Kent, commander of the Interveterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County. “We want to make sure no veteran is buried alone.”

Some veterans in the cemetery didn’t receive military honors at their burial because no family members attended their funeral — something that can happen, particularly in bad weather.

“We don’t ask the Department of Defense and the interveterans group to do honors if there isn’t going to be anybody at the service to witness the ceremony,” said Michael Henshaw, director of Camp Butler National Cemetery. “We had a real rough winter.”

It’s the first time the ceremony will be held at Camp Butler, but officials hope to hold them quarterly.

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