26 stones in the hands of hikers.
Each inscribed with a life lost, since the attacks on September 11th.
The memorial hike going from Bangor to Orono followed by a tribute ceremony outside of Fogler Library at UMaine.
The Summit Project teaming up with UMaine’s veteran services.
The national organization is aiming to change the way Maine fallen service members are remembered.
Five of the stones represented UMaine alumni.
“There were five fallen service members who paid that ultimate sacrifice for our country and for our freedom, who walked this campus, who sat in the classrooms of this University, who were leaders within the ROTC program here at the University of Maine,” said David Cote, the founder of the Summit Project.
UMaine’s color guard raising the stars and stripes.
“We’re representing the past by raising this flag in remembrance for the fallen.”
And each volunteer carrying a stone…feeling the weight of what their stone symbolized.
“Every stone here embodies the memory and spirit of each individual warrior. The 1776 to 2001 stone is the embodiment of every warrior’s spirit and their sacrifice.”
The ceremony leaving a lasting impression….that we must look to the past…in order to have a better in the future.
“A message I want to convey to the future leaders in front of me and behind me is that we know it’s important to learn about the lives of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice because they can influence and inspire us for many years to come.”
The stones will be on display in the Memorial Room on campus until November.