Baylor Trucking and Schneider National both participated in last weekend’s campaign for Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that promotes veterans’ remembrance. Its mission is to remember and honor veterans by placing wreaths at the graves of fallen military members during the holidays – a time of traditional family gatherings – and teach children that we are able to gather, in peace, because of the many sacrifices made by military men and women. Through the effort and in one short week, tens of thousands of wreaths were placed nationwide.
The Ride of Pride, an 18-wheeler owned by Schneider National that is decorated to honor the men and women in the armed services, made its second annual trip to Arlington National Cemetery for this year’s ceremony. Tony Cunningham, a Schneider National driver associate since 2002 who retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of service, was behind the wheel of the Ride of Pride.
Cunningham began the 2010 Wreaths Across America journey on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Harrington, Maine, headquarters for the Veterans Honor parade. The convoy of trucks gathered to load semitrailers with wreaths and made stops at schools and cemeteries as it traveled down Route 1 to Washington, D.C.
Baylor Trucking’s “Wreath One” led the convoy of nearly 30,000 wreaths to be laid at Arlington. Baylor President and Army veteran Bob Baylor drove “Wreath One,” a flag-adorned Kenworth truck, throughout the weeklong processional of 10 states. “This is an experience that has touched my heart as a veteran, and I am inspired by our country’s patriotism,” says Baylor. “It is wonderful to see school-age children to WII Veterans waving flags, singing ‘God Bless America’ and showing pride in our Red, White and Blue.”
“It has been a life-changing experience to participate.” says Cari Baylor, who rode with her father, Bob. “Every stop on the processional etches another memory on my heart of the families and soldiers who have shown bravery to keep us free.” Bob, his wife, Beth, and Cari joined thousands of volunteers on Saturday, Dec. 11, to lay the memorial wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Wreath ceremonies continued at The Pentagon and the Vietnam Veterans, Korean War and WWII memorials.
This year, Wreaths Across America donated more than 319,000 memorial wreaths for ceremonies held in every state, as well as Pearl Harbor and 24 national cemeteries overseas. This year, every victim of the 9/11 tragedy was honored with a tribute wreath. Baylor Trucking also donated trucks to cover the national cemeteries throughout the Midwest.