Forty-six trucking companies hauled 80 truckloads of wreaths for this year’s Wreaths Across America events, held nationwide Dec. 3-10.
The events honor our nation’s fallen veterans with wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 700 military cemeteries across North America. By the final day of the weeklong tribute, trucking had delivered 325,000 wreaths.
The largest Wreath Across America event was held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., where more than 300,000 veterans are laid to rest. Among the 15,000 volunteers at Arlington was Mike Reilly, chairman, president and CEO of Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information, Overdrive’s parent company.
Reilly helped unload boxes of wreaths from a truck and trailer provided by Pottle’s Transportation, Bangor, Maine. Pottle’s President and CEO Barry Pottle has been instrumental in getting the Truckload Carriers Association and the American Trucking Associations involved in the Wreaths Across America program. Worcester Wreath Co., Harrington, Maine, has been providing wreaths to Arlington since 1992.
The event holds special meaning for Reilly whose parents, Blanche and Major Frank Kent Reilly Jr., are both laid to rest at Arlington. Frank Reilly was a Marine fighter pilot who received six Gold Star and Distinguished Flying Cross awards before being killed in a test mission prior to Mike’s birth.
As he laid wreaths on his parents’ gravestones, Reilly vowed to remain involved in future events. “I don’t know how anyone who participates in Wreaths Across America would not want to come back,” he said.