Each year, trucking companies and professional truck drivers donate their tractor-trailers and time to deliver thousands of remembrance wreaths to the nation’s military cemeteries on behalf of Wreaths Across America. On Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, WAA and the Truckload Carriers Association announced a new partnership to further the program’s success.
WAA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is carried out each year with annual wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and nearly 800 veteran locations across the country and overseas. Last year, the organization marked its 20th year making the trip to Arlington with the placement of nearly 90,000 remembrance wreaths. In 2012, one of its goals is to place a wreath on each of the 225,000 headstones at the cemetery.
This fall, TCA will work with WAA to dispatch drivers and coordinate the logistics of wreath delivery across the country. The organization also has launched a Website, www.TruckloadofRespect.com, where donations can be made to underwrite the cost of placing a wreath on every headstone at Arlington.
Individuals and companies can add their own pages to the main site, each with specific fund-raising goals and unique URLs that can be sent to friends, family and coworkers via e-mail and social media channels. Page owners can personalize their pages with photos, custom messages and even a link to a video they have recorded and posted on YouTube, fostering a sense of community and rallying people to give to the cause.
“Without the support of trucking companies, the countless lives that we’ve already honored through our work would not have been possible,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “This collaboration further solidifies the tremendously positive relationship we’ve had with the trucking community for years now, and is indicative of their belief in the value of our cause. With partners like TCA, we are that much closer to the day when we can pay personal tribute to every fallen veteran.”
“Truckload carriers and their drivers are proud of their role in keeping the nation up and running, but delivering these wreaths is special to us,” said Chris Burruss, TCA president and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “This program has given us the chance to express our gratitude to the men and women who defend this nation, and we want to do everything we can to ensure its continued success.”
Burruss thanked Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information and Pilot Flying J for kick-starting the fund-raising with pledges to raise $50,000 and $100,000, respectively. “We encourage every carrier, supplier, driver and individual employee to do his or her part as well,” he said.