Truck drivers delivered over 4,000 remembrance wreaths to cemeteries in Alabama in support of Wreaths Across America (WAA) last week.
Robert Lilley, a company driver with Big M Transportation, delivered 77 boxes of wreaths to Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Birmingham Dec. 15.
This was Lilley’s first year delivering for WAA, and he said he was honored to be a part of the program. Lilley, from Henderson, North Carolina, hopes to be able to haul the wreaths again in the future and be a part of the convoy delivering wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery.
“It means a lot because I’ve had family members in the military, I’ve got friends in the military,” Lilley said. “It’s an honor to be able to do it for the ones that gave their lives up for our freedom.”
George Winslow, a WAA organizer at Jefferson Memorial Gardens, said he appreciates how truckers make WAA possible each year. He’s been a part of the program since 2009 and has met truckers delivering wreaths each year since then.
“I love to see these guys and gals being given a chance to use what they learned in the military and make a living. I’m all for that,” Winslow said.
On that same day, Alexis Pohl, a company driver for CalArk and a Navy veteran, delivered 482 boxes of wreaths to Alabama National Cemetery. Pohl joined the military in 1980 and has been driving for CalArk for 21 years. This was her first year hauling for WAA, and she said she felt a special connection to it because she is a veteran.
“I think it’s a great program. It reminds people what our veterans have done for us,” said Pohl, who is from Manassus, Virginia.
On Dec. 17, National Wreaths Across America Day, volunteers placed the wreaths on veterans’ graves at locations across the nation and cemeteries abroad where American veterans are buried. At Alabama National Cemetery, Army veteran Doug Carver was the keynote speaker. Carver is the executive director for the North American Mission Board.
A large convoy delivered truckloads of wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery, where over 200,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. In total, truckers delivered about 1.2 million wreaths for WAA this year.