Wreaths Across America convoy heads to Arlington

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Wreaths, placed by volunteers, adorn veterans’ graves at Alabama National Cemetery after National Wreaths Across America Day 2015.

The Wreaths Across America convoy started it’s journey to Arlington National Cemetery earlier this week.

The convoy departed Narraguagus High School in Harrington, Maine, loaded with wreaths from the Worcester Wreath Company. It travels over 700 miles to its destination in Arlington, Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 17.

This year marks the 25th year that wreaths will be placed at the cemetery. Nationally, 1,200 locations are participating this year, which is a record high. WAA expects to deliver 1.2 million wreaths, all hauled by volunteer truckers and carriers.

“I think it speaks to the mission and how much it resonates with people across the country,” said WAA spokesperson Amber Caron.

The convoy will make stops along the way to honor veterans and raise awareness for WAA’s mission.  

American Trucking Association’s Share the Road drivers Ralph Garcia and Nate McCarty are driving the program’s Mack Pinnacle 70-inch high rise sleeper in the convoy. Both drive for ABF Freight.

“As a veteran and as a truck driver, I feel tremendous pride knowing that the load I’m carrying will be used to honor and show gratitude to such a deserving group of Americans,” McCarty said. “In my past experiences as part of this convoy, I’ve met Gold Star Mothers and heard moving stories of heroism, and I look forward to sharing this journey with my friends in the trucking community.”

The convoy stops at the Vietnam Memorial Museum today (Dec. 14) and make its way to the Pentagon on Friday, Dec. 16.

Trucks arrive at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday, Dec. 17, National Wreaths Across America Day. Wreaths will be put on veterans’ graves at Arlington and at President Taft’s Monument, President Kennedy’s Memorial, the USS Maine Monument and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Caron said truckers are essential to WAA.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this without the trucking community. It’s really what keeps us able to add all these new cemeteries, knowing that we have drivers and carriers who really want to be part of this. We are so grateful. It’s a moving experience,” Caron said.

Truckers can tune in to Wreaths Across America Radio for daily updates at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. all week long.