Stars and Stripes Magazine story as first told by Ashley Conti of the Bangor Daily News.
PISCATAQUIS COUNTY, Maine (TNS) — As the snow slowly fell on Borestone Mountain last Saturday, 12 individuals ages 11 to 45 checked their gear in the parking lot before heading off to snowshoe hike up the East Peak summit.
But unlike most hikers, these 12 added something special to their packs.
Each hiker carefully placed a stone engraved with a name or initials and a date into their packs. The stones, all unique in size and shape, were carefully chosen by the families of Maine fallen heroes as part of The Summit Project.
David J. Cote, an active-duty Marine Corps officer and native of Bangor, founded the living memorial in 2013 over Memorial Day weekend as a unique way to carry on the memories of Maine’s fallen heroes from September 11, 2001, on.
As the hikers approached an icy incline, many started doubting their ability to get to the top. But encouraging words from Chad Januskiewicz, the program lead on this hike, and Ted Coffin, TSP support, kept the hikers moving.
“It’s meant to be a challenge,” Januskiewicz said. “It’s meant to be something that you learn something from.”