SALISBURY, Md. — Perdue Farms, and its professional truck drivers, conducted a public wreath-laying ceremony at the Wicomico War Veterans Memorial in Salisbury, Md., as part of the company’s annual participation in the Wreaths Across America tradition of recognizing our fallen heroes during the holiday season.
The ceremony included the placement of seven ceremonial wreaths at the memorial by Perdue drivers, who are veterans themselves, and who will help deliver thousands of wreaths to veterans’ cemeteries on the East Coast.
“Wreaths Across America asks us, in the midst of all the holiday activities, to remember our fallen military, including those from our community who are memorialized at the Wicomico Veterans War Memorial,” said Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms. “This time of year, we also think of the thousands of people who are serving in the military and their families. Our drivers’ participation in Wreaths Across America encourages us all to share and show our respect.”
Perdue’s partnership with Wreaths Across America is part of its Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors® outreach to improve quality of life and build strong communities.
Wreaths Across America was born in 2006 out of a desire to remember and honor American service members for their contributions in preserving our freedom. Morrill Worcester and the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had the vision for this project and placed the first wreaths. It has since become an annual tradition to lay wreaths at the grave-markers of our fallen veterans during December to express our appreciation and to pay tribute for the sacrifices made for our country by our service men and women.
Since 2007, Perdue drivers have delivered more than 350,000 wreaths for Wreaths Across America. This year, Perdue drivers delivered more than 25,000 wreaths to cemeteries from New York to Florida as part of National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 16. Their journey includes deliveries to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, the United States Military Academy West Point Cemetery in New York, Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., and the Wicomico War Veterans Memorial, and more.
“Perdue Farms and Perdue Transportation drivers, many of whom are veterans themselves, have been supporting the Wreaths Across America mission for more than a decade. We are very proud of our drivers and of their own military service,” said Derek Leitner, co-chair of the Perdue Associate Veterans Resource Group. “The care, attention and commitment our drivers give to the mission and their payload is impressive.”
Built in 2002 entirely with donations from the community, the Wicomico War Veterans Memorial honors those with a home of record in Wicomico County who lost their lives while defending the nation and our freedom. The names of 191 men from World War I to present day are displayed on bronze plaques on a brick wall with the words “Here we mark the price of freedom.” Flags from each branch of the military, the POW/MIA flag, county, state, and U.S. flags are flown around the clock to complete the memorial.
The Memorial not only publicly honors our fallen, but it also provides a visible remembrance for family members to visit and know that others appreciate their sacrifice. Public ceremonies are held at the Memorial each year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.