On Saturday, December 7, Wreaths Across America will begin the country’s longest veterans’ parade with the annual escort to Arlington National Cemetery. The caravan will start in Maine and travel across six East Coast states, stopping at schools, memorials and other locations along the way to spread the mission to REMEMBER, HONOR and TEACH. On the morning of Saturday, December 14, the caravan will arrive at Arlington National Cemetery to deliver wreaths on National Wreaths Across America Day.
The National President of American Gold Star Mothers Inc. (AGSM) Mona Gunn will lead the caravan as this year’s Grand Marshal. Escort participants include American Gold Star Families, Blue Star Families, veterans, volunteers and supporters from across the country. Members of the Patriot Guard Riders, Patriot Riders of America and Rolling Thunder will flank the escort along with law enforcement from departments in Maine to ensure safe transport for all participants throughout the week.
Eleven tractor-trailers donated by several retail, food distribution, and transportation companies, and WAA’s Honor Truck will transport a portion of the sponsored 253,000 veterans’ wreaths heading to Arlington National Cemetery for placement on Saturday, December 14.
Hytera provided 45 individual PNC370 Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) radios to Wreaths Across America that enable communications between caravan drivers, escort vehicles, volunteers and staff. The radios are connected to the Hytera HALO cloud-based server, allowing all the participants the ability to communicate throughout the multi-state escort over the cellular LTE network. Hytera HALO includes a dispatching software application that utilizes the GPS capabilities of the PNC370 radios so the caravan vehicles can be tracked in real time as they make their way from Maine to Washington D.C. Both the nationwide T-Mobile and Hytera HALO PoC services were donated to WAA.
What began as a pilgrimage by Maine wreath maker, Morrill Worcester, in a single truck to deliver 5,000 wreaths to Arlington in 1992 as a gesture of thanks has become a national mission to Remember, Honor, Teach. National Wreaths Across America Day ceremonies are happening at more than 2,000 participating locations across the country on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. They are free events open to all people.
Credit: AP Photo Alex Brandon
21 November 2019