Wreaths Across America’s annual trek from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery has earned a reputation as the world’s largest veterans’ parade. More than 70 trucks lined the highway in late December to carry the hundreds of thousands of wreaths that were to be placed on the graves at the country’s largest veterans’ resting place.
Elisabeth Barna, executive vice president of industry affairs and senior advisor with the American Trucking Associations, said the response from the trucking industry is a sight that always leaves her in awe.
“We are a very patriotic and community-based industry and we would do anything for anybody,” Barna said. “I think that this project is really special. You talk to anybody, whether they are competitors or retired drivers, everybody wants to participate in it.”
Wreaths Across America began as a small ceremony led by the Worcester Wreath Company in 1992 as a way to distribute a surplus of wreaths, but as plans were underway several other organizations and volunteers stepped up to help. The annual tribute went on quietly until 2005, when a photo of the wreaths at the cemetery garnered national attention. By 2007, Wreaths Across America was formed as a non-profit organization and has grown exponentially each year since.