The trucking industry plays an immeasurable part in the success of the Wreaths Across America program, which will be held Saturday, December 14 this year. In fact, trucking companies and their volunteer drivers are called the real heroes of the rolling tribute to fallen veterans as they deliver wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery and other veteran cemeteries throughout the country.
With a mission to “Remember, Honor and Teach,” Wreaths Across America organizes a week-long veterans’ parade between Maine and Virginia. The trucks stop along their routes to the cemeteries in order to spread the importance of remembering fallen soldiers, honor those who are now serving, and teach the values of the sacrifices for freedom. Thousands of volunteers participate by organizing local ceremonies and raising funds to sponsor wreaths. With no government funding, the costs are borne by individual wreath sponsors, corporate donors, and volunteer truckers.
Dozens of trucking companies already participate, along with our parent company Randall-Reilly, and this year the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and Pilot Flying J have teamed up to join in the program. Morrill and Karen Worcester of Wreaths Across America distributed 1,000 wreaths to truck drivers at the Pilot Travel Center in Milford, Conn., to begin the tribute on Nov. 26. Drivers were given fasteners to attach a wreath, part of the Trucking’s Patriot Pair, to their truck’s grill. The remembrance wreath (the other half of a Trucking’s Patriot Pair) will be placed at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 14. The drivers who received a wreath at the Pilot truck stop on Nov. 26 are asked to stop at a local cemetery on that day and place the wreath from their truck’s grill on a veteran’s headstone.
Truckers who would like to participate can order a Trucking’s Patriot Pair online at www.truckloadofrespect.com. For a donation of $30, the wreath and fasteners will be shipped to the driver, along with a window decal. A corresponding wreath will be placed on a veteran’s headstone at Arlington.
TCA partnered with Wreaths Across America last August and will help with dispatching drivers and coordinating logistics of wreath delivery across the country. Also, $5 of every purchase will go to TCA’s National Image Campaign.
Having participated in a past Wreaths Across America rolling tribute experience, Brad Morris, VP of marketing for AAA Cooper wrote, “Every aspect of our industry participated: LTL carriers, truckload carriers, private fleets and small package carriers. Everyone did this purely as a donation with no carrier accepting any revenues….The trucking industry of this country came together in unity to make sure this project was a success. ACT was proud to be a part of such an extraordinary project and the humbling experience of serving the men and women in our armed forces.”