National Wreaths Across America Day, December 14th will be special this year for all of us at Cargo Transporters. Cargo’s roots run deep in honoring military veterans. Founders Jack Brown and Forrest Pope both served in the military, as did both Pope’s sons, Charles and Tony. Currently, thirteen percent of our employees are Veterans, almost double the percentage of the general public. Along with other companies in the trucking industry, Cargo has supported the mission of Wreaths Across America (WAA). Over the years we have delivered many loads of wreaths to locations in the southeast. Each load represents our commitment to the WAA mission to Remember, Honor and Teach, and our own way of giving back to veterans that served our country. Every load of wreaths is donated and ships free.
Each year we have delivered at least one truckload, and more times have delivered two loads of wreaths into Arlington National Cemetery for the National Wreath Laying Day. Our truck, along with fifty-six other tractors, are placed on Friday. The placement of the tractors in the different sections of the cemetery, with its load of precious wreaths is a day-long task. The Drivers wait patiently and most only speak humbly of the honor of being able to participate. The cemetery remains open to the public throughout the process. Burials are being performed, all while placing the tractor-trailers for the next morning.
The morning of the wreath laying ceremony, close to 60,000 volunteers will come to lay 253,000 wreaths. The morning starts as the crowd gathers along Memorial Ave for the procession of the WAA’s Escort into Arlington. Included in the motorcade are cars holding, Gold Star Families, that lost a family member in service, Blue Star families, who currently have a member in service, dignitaries, and WAA founders, Morrill and Karen Worcester, all escorted by the Patriot Guard. Bringing up the rear will be 10 tractor-trailers, one being our own 2019 Ride of Pride tractor, driven by Derrick Whittle. Derrick is a Veteran of the Coast Guard and has been with the company 27 years. We are honored and humbled to be part of this solemn convoy into Arlington.
Each year we are asked, how to be involved in WAA. There are many ways. Wreaths Across America (https://wreathsacrossamerica.org) is a non-profit and all the wreaths are donated. It is simple to donate $15.00 for a wreath on their website. Additionally, the people laying the wreaths are all volunteers. Volunteering to help lay wreaths is a bigger commitment, but the rewards are also bigger. It is a wonderful family tradition to be a part of a local wreath laying ceremony. There are over 1,600 cemeteries where wreaths are being laid. Check out their website and sign up to volunteer. If you are a part of an organization that has fundraisers, consider Wreaths Across America as one of your events. For each wreath sold, your organization receives $5.00. Lastly, help spread the word about WAA’s mission by posting about the organization on your social media channels.
Since we are located in NC, if you decide to donate a wreath, please consider supporting the Salisbury National Cemetery or the Salisbury Annex Cemetery, both located in Salisbury, NC. There are over 14,500 veterans buried there and a small percentage of graves receive a wreath.
Thank you Wreaths Across America for giving Cargo Transporters the opportunity to participate. The Cargo family of employees is proud to be part of Wreaths Across America. We are humbled and forever grateful to our Veterans. Please donate, volunteer and share the WAA mission, your participation is needed.
To donate a wreath, please click on the link provided. (https://wreathsacrossamerica.org) Then, click on the red box titled, Sponsor Wreaths. To volunteer, click on menu button, click on Volunteer and follow the prompts.