The Wreaths Across America (WAA) convoy began Saturday, December 9 from Harrington, ME and ended Saturday, December 13 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. In Arlington, and at 800 other veterans' cemeteries nationwide, balsam pine wreaths were placed at the headstones to remember and honor our fallen heroes.
Poland Spring participated in the convoy again this year, fulfilling the role of transporting a portion of the 130,000 wreaths alongside nine other trucking companies. Scott Edwards, a 20-year Poland Spring employee and military veteran himself, was chosen as this year’s driver accompanied by his 11-year-old son, Colin, for the weeklong voyage.
Teachers at Harrison Elementary School, where Colin is in the sixth grade, worked with him throughout the week on a plan to document and share his once-in-a-lifetime experience. His fellow students began each day logging onto classroom computers to watch a live “dash” cam, which tracked the convoy and displayed first-hand accounts of what drivers witnessed as they passed through each town. “My favorite part of the trip was being able to place a wreath on a veteran’s grave and knowing that they are not forgotten,” said Collin.
In Pennsylvania, ten NWNA employees and their families participated in a local volunteer day on December 13 for WAA. In a remembrance ceremony, 3,000 live balsam wreaths were placed at the headstones of fallen veterans in Allentown’s Cedar Hill Memorial Park by volunteers. The PA plants purchased 13 wreaths for the volunteers to lay in addition to donating bottled water.
“Thousands of men and women who served our country never came home. Volunteering for WAA was a way to show my appreciation for their sacrifices,” said Rob Honadel, Allentown Planning Coordinator.