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Past TCA Chairman to Deliver 5,400 Wreaths to Arlington Cemetery
After a send-off ceremony and invocation on Dec. 7, 2008, Barry Pottle, president and CEO of Pottle's Transportation, Bangor, Maine, and past chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association, will donate his time and equipment to drive a load of 5,400 wreaths to decorate Arlington National Cemetery for the holidays.
Pottle's truckload of wreaths will be just one of approximately 30 loads being delivered to 350 different cemeteries across the United States as part of the Wreaths Across America program. As Pottle drives his truck from Maine to Virginia escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and Maine State Police troopers, the convoy will stop at various schools and veterans' rallies along the way. The last stop will be Dec. 13 at Arlington National Cemetery, where thousands of people will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at noon EST. Ceremonies at other cemeteries and memorial sites across the country are scheduled to take place at the same approximate time.
"This is an excellent way for my trucking company to give something back for our fallen heroes," said Pottle. "After all, what better time of year can there be than the holidays to show our support to those who died giving us our freedom?"
The Wreaths Across America project began over 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our nation's fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays. The mission has been the same since 1992: to remember the fallen, to honor those who serve in the military, and to teach children the value of their service.
For 2008, Worcester Wreath is donating 18,000 wreaths toward the effort. The rest are being paid for by donors to Wreaths Across America. The Truckload Carriers Association made a $500 donation toward the cause. In addition, Baylor Trucking, Inc. has agreed to deliver 3,000 live wreaths adorned with red bows to veterans' cemeteries in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.