TRENTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) —
The Summit Project has completed its second hike of the year.
Since 2013, the group has organized a spring and winter hike to honor Maine soldiers who died on active duty after 9/11.
Hikers carry stones with the name of a soldier on them up a mountain. At the top, the groups meet and talk about the lives of the people on their stones.
Then the hikers head back down and present the stones to the soldiers’ families. On Saturday, four teams of 20 hikers took different trails up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
For hikers, the best part of the event is the sense of community it creates for the families who’ve lost loved ones.
“You pull everybody together,” said Mike Winslow, who lead a team of hikers this year. “Maybe somebody has something personal they’ve dealt with on their own.”
Those family members agree.
“It’s so wonderful to see all the families and the Patriot Riders and all the people that carry the stones for all the soldiers,” said Peggy Dostie who lost her son in Iraq.
“It’s just wonderful, there’s no way to describe how that makes you feel.”
Event organizers say more hikers have been participating with each climb and they’re already planning the next one for Spring 2016.