San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 15, 2022 – As the holidays approach, BNSF Railway, in collaboration with J.B. Hunt Transport, is helping transport 227,000 wreaths free of charge for Wreaths Across America ahead of ceremonies planned for Dec. 17 in Riverside and Stockton, California, Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona.
To express appreciation for veterans and their families during the hustle and bustle of the season, Wreaths Across America (WAA) has a mission to “Remember, Honor and Teach.” Every year since 2007, WAA has coordinated wreath laying at national cemeteries, as well as locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.
“This is a great way to work with our customer, J.B. Hunt, as well as our country’s veterans and their families,” said Matt Igoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. He added, “Having served in the U.S. Army, I am especially proud that BNSF is able to help fulfill WAA’s goal of putting a wreath on every veteran’s grave.”
BNSF trains began moving the J.B. Hunt containers in late November from Chicago to points west, including Phoenix, Seattle and Stockton and San Bernardino, California. Special graphics identify the WAA trucks, which, along with the truck drivers who are veterans or have a direct association with a veteran, make up WAA’s “Honor Fleet.”
WAA began in 1992 when Worcester Wreath, located in Harrington, Maine, found itself with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery in one of the older sections that received fewer visitors. As WAA grew, it became a non-profit, and every year more and more wreaths have been placed on veterans’ graves. In 2008, 100,000 wreaths were placed, then 700,000 by 2014. This year an estimated 2.5 million wreaths will be delivered from Maine to more than 3,400 cemeteries. Hundreds of thousands of people volunteer for the event every year.
BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com.