The company said its goal is to honor US warfighters by helping lay almost 13,000 wreaths at gravesites in Jacksonville FL, Puerto Rico and other locations in remembrance of military veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Crowley is transporting more than 6,500 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of service members buried at the Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamon, southwest of San Juan, and nearly 1,000 wreaths to gravesites at the Jacksonville National Cemetery. Crowley also delivered 5,580 wreaths to a distribution facility in Virginia for transport to regional national cemeteries. All the wreaths will be laid throughout the US on Dec. 14.
Crowley says its assistance this year will result in more than an eight-fold increase in the number of wreaths being transported to gravesites in Puerto Rico—from 800 in 2018, to 6,500 in 2019.
In addition to providing $17,000 of in-kind logistics services, Crowley Solutions and the Crowley Cares Foundation jointly contributed $30,000 to Wreaths Across America (WAA) to honor deceased members of the military buried in national cemeteries throughout the US and abroad.
“We work very hard daily to support the needs of our US warfighters, but we never want to forget the sacrifices of those who came before,” said Shiju Zacharia, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley Solutions. “During the holidays, this is one small way we can honor those who gave so much for our freedom.”
Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA, said Crowley’s assistance is critical to helping offset the cost of delivering wreaths to places like Puerto Rico.
“Beyond the cost, I will tell you what it means to the people waiting in Puerto Rico who have loved ones who served the country who are buried in Puerto Rico,” Worcester said. “It’s so important that they are remembered and honored in the same way as everybody in the continental United States because they served, and they gave just like everybody else.”
Crowley Solutions managed the trucking of the wreaths from their assembly in Maine to Jacksonville. Upon arrival, wreaths were transferred at a Crowley distribution facility into temperature-controlled refrigerated containers, and then driven to the company’s port terminal at the Jacksonville Port Authority. Crowley loaded the wreaths onto its LNG-powered Con/Ro ship, MV El Coquí, for the voyage to San Juan on Dec 6.
During wreath-laying ceremonies Dec 14, Crowley said employees will help place the wreaths at gravesites in Jacksonville, Puerto Rico and elsewhere around the country in support of Wreaths Across America’s mission, which is to remember fallen US veterans, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom.
“We are really pleased to be involved in this effort,” said Parker Harrison, senior vice president and general counsel, who serves as executive sponsor of Crowley Cares. “As an employer with nearly 10% of its workforce made up of veterans, we are particularly grateful for our armed forces, both current and past, whose sacrifices have made our work and family life possible today. This wreath project represents a token of our appreciation.”