Honoring the service of U.S. warfighters, Crowley Maritime Corp. has donated end-to-end logistics services and contributions totaling nearly $50,000 to Wreaths Across America so nearly 13,000 wreaths can be laid in remembrance at the gravesites of U.S. veterans in Jacksonville, Fla., and Puerto Rico.
Crowley is transporting more than 6,500 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of service members buried at the Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamón, and nearly 1,000 wreaths to gravesites at the Jacksonville National Cemetery, the company confirmed.
Crowley also delivered 5,580 wreaths to a distribution facility in Virginia for transport to regional national cemeteries. All the wreaths will be laid throughout the U.S. on Dec. 14.
“This year’s Crowley’s collaboration has resulted in a notable increase in the amount of wreaths transported to Puerto Rico: from 800 in 2018 to 6,500 in 2019,” said Salvador Menoyo, vice president of Crowley Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
“In addition to providing $17,000 of in-kind logistics services, Crowley Solutions and the Crowley Cares Foundation jointly contributed $30,000 to Wreaths Across America to honor deceased members of the military buried in national cemeteries throughout the U.S. and abroad,” he added.
“Our goal is to have all graves in Puerto Rico have a wreath as it’s done in the stateside national cemeteries,” Menoyo said.
“The fact that Crowley is taking wreaths to Puerto Rico is huge to us because of the cost of delivering to places like that,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.
“But beyond the cost, I will tell you what it means to the people waiting in Puerto Rico who have loved ones who served the country who are buried in Puerto Rico. It’s so important that they are remembered and honored in the same way as everybody in the continental United States because they served, and they gave just like everybody else,” she said.
Crowley Solutions has managed the trucking of the wreaths from their assembly in Maine to Jacksonville. Upon arrival, wreaths were transferred at a Crowley Logistics distribution facility into temperature-controlled refrigerated containers, and then driven to the company’s port terminal at the Jacksonville Port Authority. Crowley loaded the wreaths onto its LNG-powered Con/Ro ship, MV El Coquí, for the voyage to San Juan.
“We’re thankful to all those who have united in honoring the Puerto Rican veterans with the same respect and dignity that our stateside veterans”, said José D. Nieves, director of the National Cemetery in Puerto Rico.
“This coming Saturday there will be thousands of graves dressed with a Christmas wreath,” he concluded.
The wreath-laying ceremonies will start at 11 a.m. Menoyo said.