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      WWII veterans meet and greet before trip to Washington, D.C.

      Seventy-six World War II (WWII) veterans met in Escanaba Tuesday evening in preparations for a trip to Washington, D.C. The meet and greet was a part of the U.P. Honor Flight leaving 7:30 Wednesday morning.

      Wallace Evance and Elmer Everson have been friends for the past 70 years, and the WWII veterans said they are honored to be a part of this year's flight.

      "It's unbelievable, and we've been getting excellent treatment, and it's been really nice; people who donate to this cause because we won't be around too much longer," said Evance.

      A guardian will accompany each veteran on their trip. Guardians come from all across the country while others are a part of the veterans' family.

      "I just think it's a privilege to be able to go and take the veterans to Washington, look at the WWII monuments, all the different monuments they have scheduled for us to go on," said Dan Everson, guardian.

      The one-day trip was free for each veteran. They also received a hat, jacket and shirt. During their trip, veterans will see the World War II Memorial built in their honor.

      "I had a brother that was killed in Salerno, Italy in 1943 and yesterday was the anniversary of his death. They're the heroes, the ones that gave their lives," said Bill Poe, veteran.

      High school art decorated the walls as veterans sat and reminisced. The theme of the U.P. Honor Flight was "It's never to late to say thank you".