- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - American Legion members and state leaders say the memory of Abraham Lincoln’s sacrifice to the country endures on the 206th birthday of the former president.

The Legion’s 81st annual Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Abraham Lincoln at Springfield’s Oak Hill Cemetery Thursday morning inside was attended by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and other dignitaries who laid wreaths inside the 16th president’s tomb.

Rauner says Illinois faces a “daunting challenge” to restore prosperity to the state as it faces steep financial challenges in the year ahead.

He says Lincoln’s “honor, courage and perseverance” served the state and the nation “extraordinarily well.”

One Legion member says past governors have been invited to the event but not all participated every year.

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