Thursday, May 25, 2023

Trucking Honors Our Fallen Heroes: A Tribute On Memorial Day

Image Description: Inscription of the complete poem “In Flanders Fields” in a bronze book at the John McCrae memorial at his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
(Source: Wikipedia)

On Memorial Day, we come together as a nation to honor and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. As we pay tribute to our fallen heroes, we also recognize the profound connection between the trucking industry and our veterans.

Truckers embody the qualities of fearlessness, patriotism, and independence deeply ingrained in our nation’s fabric. They choose this profession because it allows them to serve in a different capacity, contributing to our economy, supporting the communities they live in, and serving customers across the nation.

It’s no surprise that trucking is a popular career choice for veterans, with statistics showing that at least one in 10 truckers has served in the military, double the rate of workers in general. The trucking industry provides a welcoming home for those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.

This Memorial Day weekend, you might notice someone wearing a red flower, a symbol of sacrifice and remembrance. This red poppy has been a powerful emblem for over a century, reminding Americans of the costs paid by our veterans in defending our freedoms.

The tradition of wearing the red poppy originated from a poignant poem written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian artillery surgeon who witnessed the devastation of war. In his poem, “In Flanders Fields,” McCrae describes the red poppies growing amidst the graves of fallen soldiers, calling upon the living to carry on their legacy and hold high the torch of freedom.

In the U.S., Memorial Day was initially known as Decoration Day and had its roots in the aftermath of the Civil War. It was a time for Americans to honor the fallen by adorning their graves with flowers. While its exact origins are uncertain, it is believed that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina, just weeks after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865.

In 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, a leader of Union Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance on May 30. His idea was to decorate the graves of comrades who had died in defense of their country. On that first Decoration Day, Gen. James Garfield delivered a moving speech at Arlington National Cemetery, where thousands gathered to honor the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.

Over the years, states individually adopted May 30 as Memorial Day, and in 1971, it became a national holiday observed on the final Monday of May. Red Poppy Day, now known as Memorial Day, falls on the Friday before, symbolizing the start of this solemn weekend of remembrance.

Trucking, a profession that attracts many veterans, serves as a testament to their unwavering dedication and commitment to our nation.

On this Memorial Day, let us respectfully honor and not forget those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and remember the indomitable spirit of our veterans who serve this great Nation, many of whom do it behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler.