Monday, November 21, 2011

Wreaths Across America: ‘Remember, honor, teach’

Photo courtesy of
Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is fast becoming one of trucking’s favorite holiday projects and it’s one that a number of trucking companies and drivers donate their time to.

The project told Land Line on Friday that they currently have more than 30 trucking companies signed on to help with the convoy this year, but depending on how many wreaths they are able to get sponsorships for, they may need more. Any interested driver or trucking company should contact WAA to let them know their interest. There is a sign-up sheet on the organization's webpage.

Wreaths Across America is one project that many drivers choose to support with a donation. Again this year, OOIDA is sponsoring 10 wreaths.

This year, we learned that truckers can sponsor a wreath while helping other truckers at the same time by entering a special code, OHJRBMF01. When you use that code to sponsor a wreath, $5 will be donated to the Jacob Russell Boulanger Memorial Fund. For more information, click here.

In case you haven’t heard the story of Wreaths Across America, it began in 1992. Morrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Co., in Harrington, ME, had leftover live greenery, enough to make 5,000 wreaths. A boyhood visit to Arlington National Cemetery inspired Morrill to place the wreaths on the gravestones there. Now almost 20 years later Wreaths Across America has a network of more than 700 participating locations and countless volunteers.

The theme for 2011 is “The Christmas they never had.” The organization’s goal this year is to honor every veteran buried at Arlington National Cemetery with thousands of volunteers placing a wreath and holding a brief moment of silence at each of the 220,000 headstones.

Starting Dec. 6, a convoy of 50 trucks is scheduled to participate in a weeklong convoy from Maine to Virginia, stopping at schools, monuments and veterans’ homes to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach younger generations about the value of freedom and what our veterans have sacrificed to protect it.

It’s estimated that an impressive 400,000 wreaths will be placed at cemeteries during remembrance ceremonies across the country. I believe that those wreaths embody the respect of every single OOIDA member for our fallen heroes who never made it home.

The National Remembrance Ceremony will be held at Arlington on Dec. 10.