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Wreaths Across America Exhibit Touring Michigan

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TAYLOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and all week we have recognized the day of memorial. Currently, an organization that honors fallen service members nationwide sits in Metro Detroit with a traveling exhibit.

Wreaths Across America also partners with trucking companies to deliver wreaths to the graves of men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Remember, Honor, Teach” is the organization’s mission statement.

Every December, hundreds and hundreds of loads of crowns are transported across the country thanks to trucking companies doing it for free. This includes Load One Transportation and Logistics in Taylor.

The company collects its share of wreaths in the state of Maine and delivers them to military cemeteries to be placed on the graves of fallen service members.

John Elliot, CEO of Load One, told 7 Action News: ‘It’s a very special moving thing to see Arlington transform in a matter of hours without wreaths and to see a sea of ​​volunteers and it’s incredibly moving, especially for families who have lost someone and had given the ultimate sacrifice like that.

He said the company has donated transportation, time and fuel to Wreaths Across America for nearly 15 years now.

“Once one of our pilots is in it, they still want to do it every year,” Elliot said.

He said it touched him because he was a veteran himself. The same goes for retired Load One employee and sailor David “Gator” Gadigian.

“Monday will be our dearest. OK? Not in terms of the price of food, gas, travel (or) any of that. It’s for lives that people give, again, so we have the freedom to do whatever we want,” he explained.

That’s what Wreaths Across America’s mobile educational exhibit seeks to educate the public about.

Stefan Brann, Driver Ambassador for Wreaths Across America, said, “We have the absolute best work. We get to hang out with veterans every day.

In the interactive exhibit, Brann said visitors can watch an 8.5-minute video and learn more about the organization’s mission. Vietnam veterans can receive a welcome pin and sign the board. He said that in 2021 almost 2.45 million crowns had been transported since 1992.

“(People) come out of here inspired enough to get involved in the organization, either by sponsoring a wreath or volunteering with us,” Brann explained.

If you’d like to see the mobile unit, it will be stopping at these Michigan locations in the coming days:

FLINT
Saturday May 28
Time: 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Matrix Expedited Service, 4268 Holiday Dr.

PORT HURON
Monday May 30
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Karreer-Simpson Funeral Home, 1720 Elk Street.

GREAT WHITE
tuesday 31 may
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Creasey Bicentennial Park, 1505 E. Grand Blanc Rd.

LANSING
Thursday, June 2
Meijer Supercenters (private event for employees)

BRIGHTON
Saturday June 4
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
200 Grand River Ave E.

BIG RAPIDS
Sunday June 5
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2190 E. Beltline Avenue NE

HOLLAND
Monday, June 6
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
380 Chicago Ave. (parking lot between Russ’ and West Michigan Bike)

THE TOWN OF BOYNE
Tuesday, June 7
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Veterans Park, 201 N. Lake St.