Held annually 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. Wreath-laying ceremonies will be held at Arlington, veterans' cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states, as well as some internationally.
Ceremonies around the nation will be performed in unison at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Each ceremony will include a flag ceremony, the traditional taps and a 21-gun salute. One member from each branch of the military will place a wreath on a grave.
A Wreaths Across America convoy will transport thousands of wreaths from Maine to the Arlington National Cemetery, where the wreaths will be placed on the graves of the nation's fallen heroes. The convoy begins in Maine on Dec. 8 and concludes at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 15.
Springfield, Mo.-based Prime Inc. is one of many fleets for whom participation in the event has become an annual tradition. This year, the company is sponsoring a run in Missouri and will be partnering with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for a full escort throughout the state.
"We are honored to be able to pay tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Because of them we have our freedom, " said Robert Low, president and founder of Prime Inc. "We have asked for Missouri communities to join us in helping, through their generous donations, to fill the trucks with wreaths to cover each fallen soldier's grave."
Volunteer opportunities and donation instructions are available at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. The Truckload Carriers Association is working to coordinate volunteer trucks; go to http://www.give2gether.com/projects/tca/.