Thanking a Trucker Goes Viral: FASTPORT's "Imagine" Film Reaches Over 1,000,000 Views and Inspires at TCA Wreaths Across America Gala

by Paige Thompson on Sep 28, 2015 2:00:00 PM

This week, FASTPORT reminded over one million people to thank a truck driver in the viral video Imagine. As the centerpiece of FASTPORT’s educational campaign to show how important drivers are to America and to inspire Veterans into the trucking industry, Imagine’s message continues to reach more and more people via social media.

Imagine debuted as the closing to FASTPORT Co-founder Jim Ray’s talk that anchored the joint event between The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Program and the George W. Bush Institute Mission Transition: Creating Employment Opportunities for Post-9/11 Veterans and Military Families that took place in June 2015. Read more about the event here.

Because of the video’s success at Mission Transition, FASTPORT was asked to share it with the trucking industry as an inspirational message during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. NTDAW is an integral effort from the trucking industry to honor professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. Imagine has made strides toward educating more people about the important movement.

In response to the video, people shared their thank-you messages that ranged from showing photos of their own trucks to thanking parents who sacrificed for their families.

As the message spread online, FASTPORT received comments from multiple trucking carriers who were also inspired by the video. One was Donna Summers who saw her truck featured near the end of the film. She and her husband Lee were selected to transport steel beam remnants of the Twin Towers after the 9/11 attack in New York City, and a small part of this journey is memorialized in Imagine. Donna describes this experience as an honor that touched her life—and an experience that touched those who understood what the truck was carrying across the country.

 

It was an honor but I had no idea the emotional effect they would have on everyone who encountered them,” said Donna. “As we left NYC and started the journey we stopped to wash the truck and a young man came and asked if they were from the twin towers. Could he touch them? When he did, he broke down. I can still see and hear him.”

“At [another] stop, an elderly lady was holding her hand and crying,” she continued. “Lee went to see what was wrong. She had the rust from the beams on her hand and crying she said ‘I can't wash my hand.’ Lee got some paper and we helped her make a handprint so she could save it….These are but a very few of the thousands of stories I relive on this day. Each story is special, the people are special, the feelings are real.”

FASTPORT co-founder Jim Ray had the opportunity to share Donna and Lee’s story at the Truckload Carriers Association’s Wreaths Across America Gala to encapsulate Imagine’s message: professional drivers deeply impact America. To use Donna’s own words, they are special.

That night, everyone who attended the Gala was privileged to have the Summers drive that point home when they received a tearful standing ovation for their heroic efforts when they undertook the difficult job of transporting such important cargo. We are grateful to them and for our opportunity to share their story so viewers all over the world can see an example of the incredible people who move our world more than we can imagine.

To view Jim's entire speech and hear more about the story of Imagine, watch below:

 

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