Names etched in stone will never fade, even if memory does.
Mount Katahdin and its surrounding peaks were formed hundreds of millions of years ago by the collision of glacier and rock. They are, in any relative sense, forever. This Memorial Day weekend, a group led by Maj. David Cote hiked up one of those peaks, The Owl, two miles west of Katahdin, carrying 48 stones, each with a specific purpose.
Forty of the stones are etched with the name of a service member from Maine who gave his life in the country’s two latest wars, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Seven others are marked with words known well to those and all other service members — courage, duty, honor, among others. The stones are part of The Summit Project, a memorial program started by Cote, a Waterville native, and based on a Navy SEAL tradition honoring fallen comrades. Volunteers in The Summit Project carry the stones to symbolically take on some the burden felt by the service members’ families. MORE.