Railroads & Locomotives History BNSF Railway and J.B. Hunt assist in Wreaths Across America

BNSF Railway and J.B. Hunt assist in Wreaths Across America

By David Lustig | December 18, 2023

| Last updated on January 15, 2024

Remembering our fallen veterans

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BNSF Railway and J.B. Hunt

two trains on track
Former Santa Fe bicentennial locomotive No. 5704 and BNSF No. 3723 were on hand for the Wreaths Across America ceremony in San Bernardino. Four photos, David Lustig

To honor fallen veterans during the holidays a number of companies regularly partner with Wreaths Across America to deliver wreaths for placement on headstones.  Among them are BNSF Railway and J.B. Hunt Transport Services. This year the two transportation giants together moved 46 container loads of wreaths — that’s 314,000 wreaths — free of charge, up from 35 loads last year.

Wreaths Across America has a mission to “Remember, Honor, and Teach,” and every year since 2007 the organization has coordinated wreath-laying ceremonies at national cemeteries and other locations throughout the 50 states, at sea, and abroad.

On Dec. 15 in San Bernardino, Calif., employees of both companies held an early morning ceremonial transfer in BNSF’s intermodal terminal to celebrate the railroad bringing in 6,840 wreaths that will go to Riverside National Cemetery, where volunteers placed them on the headstones of fallen veterans on Wreaths Across America Day, Dec. 16, 2023.

motorcycles in front of BNSF loco
BNSF, J.B. Hunt, and the Patriot Guard assemble at San Bernardino before the wreaths are distributed.

sleeve with patch
A J.B. Hunt employee proudly wears the special patch for the event.

Additional loads of wreaths were delivered to Phoenix; San Diego, Santa Nella, and San Jose, Calif.; as well as Kent and Fife, Wash.

“We are proud to hold such an event with our J.B. Hunt partner,” BNSF Terminal Superintendent Danny Martinez said. “Every wreath placed on a fallen hero’s grave is a symbolic embrace, a testament of gratitude, and we at BNSF and J.B. Hunt are proud to help support such a movement.”

To celebrate the event, BNSF spotted Wabtec ET44C4 No. 3723 nose to nose with former Santa Fe Bicentennial SD45-2 No. 5704 to act as a backdrop for employees and members of the Patriot Guard, volunteers who share a love of motorcycles and respect for fallen heroes. The 5704 will eventually join other railroad equipment at the Southern California Railway Museum in Perris, Calif.

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 by wreath producer Morrill Worcester. Its primary activity is distributing Veteran’s wreaths for placement on graves in military cemeteries. In December 2008, the U.S. Senate agreed to a resolution that designated Dec. 13, 2008, as Wreaths Across America Day.

bicentennial loco with people standing in front of it
BNSF employees assemble on the bicentennial locomotive at San Bernardino.

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