The legacy of our heroes lives on as The Summit Project challenges the living to honor the fallen.
With the abundance of fund raising fads hitting social media and sweeping the country it is rare to see a cause as well put together or for such a noble purpose as that of The Summit Project. Far from a flash-in-the-pan fad, The Summit Project is an ongoing program with no end in sight.
Honoring Maine veterans who have died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001, The Summit Project is keeping their memories alive. Volunteers carry the memorial stone of a soldier who died in the line of duty and make a commitment to do more than jus the hike itself.
They reach out to the families of their designated warrior and learn as much as they can about their lives and service to our country. The stone that is carried engraved with that soldier's initials, rank and dates becomes a tangible link to unique individual.
"We will carry their stones during the hike, but we will carry their stories for a lifetime -- making the Summit Project a living memorial." -Major David J. Cote, USMC
Hiking in the majestic coastal mountains of Maine is beautiful any time of year. This weekend, however, draped in fall colors four teams of 20 hikers will ascend Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National park to be a part of the living memorial that is The Summit Project. For many, giving a few dollars where they can is all they can do. For others, taking action and pushing themselves physically and mentally during the challenge of the hike is a tribute of a special nature.
"...we look after one another, we remember one another, we take care of one another, we are faithful and we lift each other to higher places - literally and figuratively. In that sense, the spirit of our fallen Maine heroes can remain very much alive." -Major David J. Cote, USMC
Once at the summit hikers place their stone at the peak and speak about the person whose life is represented therein. Undoubtedly a moving experience and one touches the lives of all involved. For the families it is the greatest gift they can receive. To ensure their loved one is not forgotten.