A group of truckers gathered at the National Mall this weekend as a way to promote trucking, educate the public, and put everyone in a “really good mood,” during these trying times.
Back in May, a group of truckers gathered in Washington for a demonstration protesting low freight rates, broker transparency, and more. Now, many of those drivers have returned to promote a positive image of the trucking industry and to educate the public on the importance of what they do through an event called “Ten-Four DC.”
From Thursday, October 1st through Sunday, October 4th, approximately 32 drivers parked their rigs right in the National Mall, the US Capitol Building on one side and the Washington Monument on the other, drawing a crowd of interested onlookers.
“It’s a really good mood,” said Steven Myers, one of the organizers of the annual event. “Lots of kids want to get up in the trucks and check them out.”
Despite decreased participation in this year’s event due to concerns over recent civil unrest and subsequent equipment damage, Meyers said he was happy with the turnout, and that drivers took appropriate precautions to avoid any unfortunate situations.
“We’re pretty much parked at ground zero for any demonstrations,” he said. “We’re not allowed to move unless we’re leaving the area, so we’re trying to make sure everyone stays safe.”
Meyers is also an administrator for the Facebook Group ‘The Disrespected Trucker,’ which helped organize the ‘May Day’ trucker protests earlier this year. After that event, Meyers says he realized that many drivers were in need of a way to have their spiritual needs met, so he started using his skills as an ordained minister to start The Truckers for Christ Facebook page, which offers online teaching and sermons.
Even still, Meyers stresses the importance of real human interaction, and says events like Ten-Four DC are crucial for both the mental health of truckers, and for the education of the public.
“Sometimes, a person who’s a thousand miles from home just needs somebody to talk to or to pray with them,” he said. “I’ve made my personal phone number available for anyone who needs counseling or help. I get between 200 and 400 calls every month.”
Although this isn’t his first trucker event, Meyers says he still appreciated every second of it.
“Most of us have only seen Washington from the highway, missing the history that’s available here,” he explained. “We’re seeing the sights while we can.”
“[This event,] It’s not about you, not about me,” he explained. “It’s about US. We need to take care of one another.”
Check out some footage from the event, below!