BORDENTOWN, N.J. –
More than a dozen tractor-trailers rolled down Rising Sun Road here Dec. 15 as part of a Wreaths Across America ceremony honoring the nation’s fallen military members.
The trucks were carrying thousands of wreaths destined for Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where they will be placed on gravesites during a Dec. 18 wreath-laying ceremony.
“The 2021 escort to Arlington National Cemetery is a 737-mile trek starting in Columbia Falls, Maine,” explained Bryan Branson, chairman of the Bordentown Township Veteran’s Advisory Committee. “These wreaths will be placed in loving memory of our nation’s heroes interred at Arlington.”
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. More than 250,000 wreaths are set to be delivered to Arlington this year.
“Wreaths Across America aids us in remembering our veterans, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Bordentown Mayor Steve Benowitz. “During the holiday season, we should take the time to remember the sacrifices that were made for our great country.”
The organization's mission – “Remember, Honor, Teach” – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at more than 2,900 participating locations in all 50 states and overseas.
“The freedoms we enjoy as Americans have been valiantly provided to us by the 1.3 million American service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, including more than 6,000 who have given their lives in overseas operations since the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001,” said Maj. Gen. Rodney Faulk, commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
“Our men and women in uniform are serving around the world in defense of liberty, and some may never come home. This is a risk they accept when they raise their right hands and swear an oath to serve their country, and the fact that we have an all-volunteer military force makes their service all the more special,” Faulk added.