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Prime inc. providing 1,000-plus wreaths for Springfield cemetery on Dec. 14

Held each year on the second Saturday in December, the custom of placing wreaths on veteran graves across America relies on the help of volunteers, active organizations and the generosity of the trucking industry.

The Trucker News Services

12/11/2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Prime inc. will again participate this year in the annual “Wreaths Across America Day,” on Dec. 14 at Springfield National Cemetery.

 The Missouri Highway Patrol will escort a Prime truck carrying more than 1,000 wreaths through the state. The wreaths will be delivered and laid beginning at 9 a.m. The ceremony, which starts at 11 a.m., and will be done in unison at more than 800 cemeteries around the country, includes the Springfield Civil Air Patrol Auxiliary color guard and 21-gun salute conducted by the VFW Honor Guard. All told, approximately 406,000 wreaths will be laid onto fallen soldiers’ graves.

In addition to sponsoring and transporting the wreaths, Prime will also transport the company’s veterans to the cemetery so they may participate in the ceremony.

Held each year on the second Saturday in December, the custom of placing wreaths on veteran graves across America relies on the help of volunteers, active organizations and the generosity of the trucking industry.

 “We are honored to participate in what has become a holiday tradition at our company,” said John Hancock, director of training and driver recruiting for Prime. “It’s our tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and we hope that all fallen veterans across the country are recognized this time of year.”

 Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit 501-c3 organization, was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project. The Arlington Wreath program began with the donation and laying of 5,000 Christmas wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery by Morrill Worcester of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington in 1992.

The program was expanded in 2006 to create Wreaths Across America, providing wreath donations nationwide. The wreath laying, held annually on the second Saturday of December, is now in its 19th year of existence with over 450,000 wreaths placed on a veteran’s grave.

The wreaths are transported by professional truck drivers who volunteer their time and equipment to transport the wreaths from Maine, where the Worcesters are based, to Arlington and other military cemeteries.

On Sept. 12, the Truckload Carriers Association, which provides logistics for the mammoth undertaking as well as recruiting carriers/truck drivers for the job of transporting the wreaths, hosted a “Wreaths Across America Gala,” in Washington D.C., raising $161,300 for this year’s Wreaths effort.

Each year, between 600,000 and 800,000 volunteers lay wreaths at veterans’ graves at cemeteries throughout the country and beyond. The nonprofit’s main mission, “Remember, Honor and Teach,” has incorporated military families to continue to spread awareness of what military members sacrifice for freedom.

With a fleet of more than 6,000 refrigerated, flatbed and tanker trucks, Prime has a 40- year reputation for providing superior transportation services throughout North America.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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