Commercial truck drivers play an important role in the American economy as they ship nearly 80 percent of cargo. But, on Dec. 15, over 5 trucking companies hauled some of their most important cargo of the year as over 610,000 wreaths were transported to the graves of more than 800 veterans’ cemeteries across the country.

The deliveries were made as part of Wreaths Across America Day, held annually each December. Wreaths were delivered across the country with the largest group going to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. More than 34 truckloads of wreaths (over 110,000 wreaths) traveled to Arlington on Dec. 15.

On their way to Arlington, the trucks stopped at schools and monuments to remind people of the importance of honoring veterans. A rally was held one night for the drivers and volunteer personnel coordinating the event in Arlington, according to the official spokesperson of Truckload Carriers Assn’s (TCA) Highway Angel program.

According to Chris Burruss, president of TCA, “trucking industry involvement in the Wreaths Across America Day initiative has grown steadily over the years, from just a few carriers participating on their own to this year’s sizable fleet, requiring an all-new system for coordinating logistics managed by TCA.

“As needs increased, the association went to its membership for help, and the members “responded with unprecedented enthusiasm,” Burruss added. “This project is a natural fit for TCA members and the trucking industry in general, since so many veterans choose to make their careers in trucking after serving in the military. All of us feel it is our honor and privilege to be able to show our respect by hauling the wreaths for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.”

According to a Fleet Owner magazine article, the tradition of laying wreaths at Arlington began in 1992 when the owner of Worcester Wreath Co. found a surplus of leftover wreaths available near the end of the holiday season. “With the help of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed in one of the older sections of the cemetery,” the article said.

The annual event is a great way for the trucking industry to honor those who have fought for America and it is a symbol of the family environment that the truck industry often embodies.

In addition to honoring veterans with the wreath laying, the truck industry has also become a great career option for those returning from war. Many truck carriers are eager to hire returning veterans, especially those who receive professional CDL training from a respected school like Diesel Driving Academy. If you are a jobseeker looking to start a new career, the truck driving profession offers a lot of advantages, including job stability and higher that average starting pay.