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Northeast Wisconsin veterans still planning D.C. trip to war memorials

A closure sign is seen on a barricade at the World War Two Memorial in Washington October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A closure sign is seen on a barricade at the World War Two Memorial in Washington October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - About 85 northeast Wisconsin veterans are still planning to board a one-day Honor Flight next Thursday to see the nation's war memorials in Washington.

However, they won't see everything if the federal government shutdown is still going on then.

Organizer Diane McDonald says she's also looking into other details -- like getting to nearby restrooms and rain shelters -- because she doesn't want any surprises. Also, she said the Vietnam Veterans and Iwo Jima memorials remain closed.

The Honor Flights began a few years ago so the dwindling numbers of World War II veterans could see their national memorial before they die. Now, veterans of other conflicts are invited.

They go for free, while the chaperones must pay their own way.

McDonald says she's spent about 100 hours checking ways to work around possible logistical problems once the veterans reach Washington.

The government originally closed all the monuments when the shutdown began October 1st. But after veterans spent two days trying to get in, Park Service officials at least opened the doors to most memorials.

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