Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army General Daniel B. Allyn, Friday, Dec 16, applauded the Truckload Carriers Association and the trucking industry for their commitment to Wreaths Across America.
His remarks were made in front of about 500 volunteers involved with the truck convoy and wreath-laying activities associated with National Wreaths Across America Day, which was held at cemeteries across the country Saturday, Dec. 17. The volunteer reception and dinner took place at the Hilton Crystal City and was sponsored by Pilot Flying J. Allyn praised TCA and the trucking industry for donating about $1 million in funds, manpower, fuel, and equipment since September to support WAA’s efforts.
Russell Stubbs, TCA’s chairman and a third-generation motor carrier leader, said, “I was honored to hear a four-star general give his heartfelt thanks to our industry. It made me proud to be involved with Wreaths Across America, especially for this third consecutive year in which all graves at Arlington National Cemetery received wreaths. We’ve come such a long way in our work with WAA and in building partnerships to further their cause.”
Before the start of the dinner, Wendy Hamilton, senior manager of sales and marketing with Pilot Flying J and emcee of the night’s festivities, said 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Morrill Worcester first laying wreaths at Arlington. She acknowledged some of the special guests in the room, which included truck drivers who hauled the wreaths from Maine to Arlington.
When long-time WAA supporter Cari Baylor, vice president of Baylor Trucking of Milan, Indiana, came to the podium to say the blessing before the meal, Hamilton told an interesting story. Apparently, it was Baylor’s idea to decorate the Wheel in National Harbor – a huge Ferris wheel overlooking the Potomac River and parts of Washington D.C. – with “The National Wreath.” Because of her, The Wheel was lit with the green and red of the holiday season for the first five minutes of each hour which concluded on Sunday, Dec. 18.