The Summit Project Celebrates Fourth Birthday, Returns to Baxter State Park via Motorcycle Convoy and Completes Memorial Day Tribute Trek and Family Weekend to Honor Maine’s Fallen Military Heroes
The Summit Project (TSP), a nationally recognized, Maine based, non-profit service organization founded by Major David J. Cote, USMCR in 2013, is a living memorial that has changed the way an entire state pays tribute to their post 9/11 fallen service members while also inspiring service, strengthening communities and changing lives. “We carry their stone for a hike; We carry their story for a lifetime.” The mission of TSP is to honor our state’s newest war casualties and the faithful spirit of all Mainers. Unlike any project in America, TSP allows Maine communities to honor our fallen heroes through action.
TSP builds and bolsters our communities by intersecting the lives of the fallen, their families and the faithful. TSP has also revealed the character of Maine and America — A character of service, integrity and loyalty. As Americans, “we look after one another, we remember one another, we make sacrifices for one another, we are faithful to each other and we carry each other to higher places, both literally and figuratively.” Through TSP we are able to carry on the unfinished work of our fallen heroes toward creating a safer, sounder more just America.
Over Memorial Day weekend 2017, 48 hikers will climb various summits in Baxter State Park as part of The Summit Project. With every step of that climb our hikers, who have already learned about the lives of their assigned heroes, will carry with them the memorial stones of that hero making The Summit Project a living memorial. The surviving families shared the stories of their loved ones’ character, integrity and service, and they have each unearthed and donated the special memorial stone that uniquely represents each fallen family member from Maine. We’ve engraved all of those stones and on Saturday, May 28, they will be transported to northern Maine, so that on Sunday, May 29, our preselected hikers can carry their stone for the hike, but carry their story for a lifetime.
Millinocket, Maine – Over Memorial Day weekend 2017, Over 100 Patriot Rider Motorcyclists will travel 200+ miles, and escorted by Maine State Police, to transport over 75 tribute stones and relay them to four teams of 12 hikers, from all over Maine and as far away as California who will summit various peaks on Baxter State Park as part of The Summit Project, a unique living memorial that honors Maine’s military service members who have died since September 11, 2001. Each hiker will carry to the summit an engraved stone donated by the families and retrieved from significant places of the fallen and uniquely represents their loved ones. (www.thesummitproject.org.)
The hikers will be joined by more than 30 Gold Star family members of Maine’s honored fallen for a weekend of fellowship, healing and remembrance at Twin Pines Campground in Millinocket, Maine, along the shores of Millinocket lake and against the backdrop of Katahdin, Maine’s most iconic peak.
Hikers include parents and siblings of Maine’s Fallen Heroes. Many hikers are returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and still other hikers are teachers, small business owners, law enforcement officers, high school students, and professionals from all industries and from all over Maine. All hikers are assigned a specific fallen hero they will honor, they have agreed to research their hero learning about their service and sacrifice, they have agreed to carry their tribute stone in their packs and upon completion of the hike, each hiker will send letters to the surviving families of the fallen ensuring their loved ones are NOT forgotten.