On Thursday, December 11th, Cianbro trucker Tom Closson pointed his spotless Cianbro tractor southbound, pulling a specially decorated trailer from Hale Trailer of Portland, Maine. His was one of 70 trucks that were delivering 225,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia – one for each of the graves of Arlington’s fallen warriors. It was all part of the annual Wreaths Across America effort, led by Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester of Columbia Falls. Cianbro has been taking part in the mission for the past six years, including deliveries directly to Arlington during the past two seasons. Prior to the Arlington journeys, Tom’s deliveries went to military graves across New England, also part of the Wreaths Across America mission.
“I’ve never been in the military,” said Tom. “But this is my way to give back, to help out. It is an awesome thing to see, and it is an awesome thing to take part in. If you don’t have a heart, you don’t belong there, because this is something that’ll naturally bring tears to your eyes.”
By Friday, the truckers had reached the D.C. area. That evening, a banquet was prepared on behalf of the drivers as a way to say “thank you” for their work and their contribution. The next day, Saturday morning at 09:30 hours, the doors to the trailers swung open at Arlington, and upwards of 50,000 volunteers began to lay the wreaths against each gravestone. The massive task took only two and a half hours to accomplish, thanks to the many helping hands. With that, Tom closed the doors of his trailer and steered his Cianbro tractor back toward the northeast.
Equipment/Yard Superintendent Ben Wagg, who dispatches Cianbro's truckers, is among the folks at the company who quietly support the Wreaths Across America effort, including Cianbro leaders at the Corporate office and at the Equipment Group. “We are all proud to be a part of this effort,” said Ben. “This year, Megan Barnes from the Equipment Group found us a donor trailer from Hale, that was all decaled up. This made it very special and really stuck out going down the road. People are getting more involved every year, and they recognize the logo on the trailer. My goal for next year is to get our truck into the convoy. This leaves from Columbia, Maine and has a Maine State Police escort throughout the entire trip, adding trucks, escorts, and momentum through every state until the convoy arrives at Arlington. I am very glad we are given the nod of approval to complete this task, and wish to thank Tom for his efforts, as this is from the heart.”
As for next year’s plans, Tom says he’s confident that Cianbro will have a shiny truck in the mix. “I don’t know of anyone in the company who would be against it,” he said