For a second year, Barry Pottle, president and chief executive officer of Bangor ME-based Pottle’s Transportation and past chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association, donated his time and equipment to drive a truckload of wreaths to decorate Arlington National Cemetery for the holidays. He recruited TCA members Baylor Transportation, Prime Transportation, Jagtrux, and Motor Carrier Services to help.
“Many people recognize that this is a great opportunity to support the men and women who fought for our freedom, and to do something that honors their sacrifice,” said Pottle. “So when I asked some of the other trucking companies to get involved, I wasn’t too surprised that they immediately stepped up to the plate.”
The participating TCA members hauled truckloads of approximately 5,600 wreaths each for delivery to 405 cemeteries across the United States as part of the Wreaths Across America program. New this year, wreath ceremonies were added for the various locations where planes went down September 11, 2001. As the wreaths were delivered, the convoys stopped at schools and veterans rallies as part of the program’s mission to remember the fallen, honor those who serve in the military, and teach children the value of their service. The effort culminated with nationwide wreath-laying ceremonies around noon December 12, 2009, which the US Congress designated as “Wreaths Across America Day.”
One of the largest of the ceremonies took place at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington VA. Pottle personally drove one of the loads that contained some of the special wreaths for this ceremony, including wreaths for President John F Kennedy’s gravesite and the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The wreath-laying program began more than 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business in Harrington ME) began placing wreaths on the headstones of the nation’s fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays. This year, Pottle joined with Rob Worcester, son of the program’s founder, and Fred Varney, a truck driver for Wal-Mart, to coordinate most of the trucking logistics for the effort.
For more information about the Wreaths across America program, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. To volunteer trucking equipment and drivers for next year’s effort, contact Barry Pottle at (800) 370-5623 or [email protected].