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Students carry stones to remember fallen Mainers Published on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:12 am AUBURN —

When Devon Daskey carries a stone Friday up the sometimes steep climb to the summit of Bradbury Mountain, the Edward Little High School junior will want to know the stone’s story.  It will be engraved with the name of a Maine service member who has died since 9/11. And Daskey, like the other 100 or so Auburn teens who will make the climb, hopes to learn about this person.  It won’t change his sense of obligation, though.  FULL STORY here.

Nov 11, 2014 — Mainers pause to honor veterans on Veterans Day;  Ceremonies held across state;   PORTLAND, Maine —Mainers will pause to pay tribute to the men and women who serve our nation on Veterans Day.  Video story here.


Nov 5, 2014 — 15th annual Veterans Day Road March planned for Augusta;  Walk to include wreath-laying ceremony at VA Maine HCS, Togus.

AUGUSTA — Soldiers, veterans and supporters will participate in the 15th annual Veterans Day Road March, a 7.5-mile road march, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Capitol Park, according to a press release from the American Legion. Designated soldiers and veterans will carry Summit Project stones, each representing a Maine Fallen Hero. The road march will travel to the VA Maine Healthcare System at Togus, where marchers will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and a dedication of the Summit Project mobile display case, built by Maine veterans.  Link is here.


Nov 7, 2014 — Veterans Day observance at Togus

TOGUS, Maine — A Veterans Day observance will be held at 8 a.m. Veterans Day Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Togus VA Medical Center, at the flag pole commons area in front of Building 200. The ceremony will include presenting of the colors, invocation/benediction, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, remarks, placing of the wreath and an honor guard salute with Taps.  Additionally, immediately following that observance, there will be a dedication ceremony for “The Summit Project,” which is a living memorial created by a Maine native active duty Marine major that pays tribute to the fallen service members from Maine who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001. Link is here.

Nov 9, 2014 — A special thank you to Maine Magazine and Love Maine Radio for this radio piece on TSP. A very special thanks to TSP’s Ted “Gunny” Coffin for your genuine thoughts on TSP and our mission. (The TSP portion is the tail end of this piece; starts around minute 37.) Happy Veteran’s Day to all veterans, past and present. MHANF.


OCT 1 2014 — This is a must listen radio interview by TSP at ANP Hiker 2014 Joy Owens! Thank you Joy for taking the time to go on this show with 92 Moose in Maine. Thanks for being such a great advocate for TSP and our mission to honor Maine’s fallen. Great job, you are clearly a pro, and thanks for inviting others to get involved today. MHANF.  Listen to that interview here.


Thank you Nicholas Humphries for inviting me to you podcast and allowing me to share TSP. Thank you for the great opportunity to present TSP to a wider audience and include one of our best supporters, Tatiana Whitlock. Thanks again. I hope everyone will listen to the episode found at this link.1


Lake Region High School in Naples, Maine is the first school to partner with TSP and incorporate TSP in a school curriculum.   Read their amazing journey HERE.


TSP at ANP 2014 —  Summit Project Honors Fallen Heroes Atop Cadillac Mountain October 4th, 2014. By Tania Morales — MORE


TSP at ANP 2014; and TSP at Maine Marathon 2014 — Featuring TSP Team Lead and Army SFC Timothy Macarthur — MORE

TSP at ANP 2014 — FOX 22 ABC 7 — The Summit Project: Remembering Maine’s Fallen Heroes   written by Kristin Hosfelt   29 September 2014  MORE


The Bayonet — July 16, 2014;  I want to acknowledge Sgt. 1st Class Pete Morrison, the NCOIC Managing Editor and Sgt. Angela Parady the Photojournalist and Layout Designer of The Bayonet — an online periodical that is produced for personnel of the Maine Army National Guard. Thank you for your service, and thank you both for your continued partnership with The Summit Project. The July issue of the Bayonet looks great, thanks for including TSP. MHANF.


TSP at BSP 2014 —

Summit Project Honors Maine’s Heroes — Written by  

BAXTER STATE PARK – It’s easy to get caught up in the barbeques and parades, but some local volunteers made sure to take the time this weekend to honor Maine’s heroes.

Bangor council chair Ben Sprague laid the city’s wreath on Memorial Day, but he spent the weekend doing something a bit different. “It was a very powerful experience and really it wasn’t about me, it was about the service members who have died,” says Sprague.

It was part of the Summit Project. Sprague, along with 35 other hikers, carried engraved stones to Baxter State Park. Each representing a fallen solider – Sprague’s was for Sgt. Joshua Kirk.  Family members of the fallen met with the hikers, putting things in perspective.  MORE.



WABI TV — Patriot Riders Participate in The Summit Project

Posted Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 7:35 pm. By Caitlin Burchill

We continue our coverage Friday of The Summit Project, which honors Maine troops who have died serving our nation since 9/11. Families pick out a stone to represent their lost loved one so their stories can be shared around the world. Friday, Maine motorcyclists honored these soldiers. The Patriot Riders escorted memorial stones up I-95 for The Summit Project’s first tribute trek. Caitlin Burchill reports. MORE.

Portland Press Herald — Gratitude to Maine’s fallen soldiers set in stone

Remembrances of Maine’s war dead will be part of a ‘tribute trek’ led by a Waterville native who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 23, 2014 By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Last summer, Donald Buxbaum set out to find the perfect stone to memorialize his grandson Justin, who died at the age of 23 from an accidental shooting in 2008 while serving in the Army in Kuchamond, Afghanistan. The stone would be engraved with Spc. Buxbaum’s initials, his rank, the year he was born and the year he died, to honor his service to this country. MORE.



Morning Sentinel — Tribute to fallen soldiers stops in West Gardiner

The Summit Project collects stones and stories of Maine soldiers killed in action since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer May 23

Sgt. Daniel Cunningham was at the last race his favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt, ever raced, in 2001. Cunningham watched in horror as Earnhardt’s famous black No. 3 skidded head first into the wall, killing him instantly. The number was pulled out of circulation among NASCAR racers, placed into unofficial retirement in Earnhardt’s honor. A little more than two years later, Cunningham himself was killed when his vehicle fell into a ravine while he served with the U.S. Army in Iraq.  MORE



Morning Sentinel – OUR OPINION: Sacrifices of service members live on forever

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.



Feeling the weight: Hikers carry tribute stones for Maine heroes to Baxter mountaintop

By Aislinn Sarnacki, BDN Staff,  Posted May 26, 2014, at 7:28 a.m.

Atop the mountain, 26-year-old Dylan Harris set down his heavy backpack, unzipped it, and removed a large gray stone. Etched on its rough surface:

D. J. H.



The stone represented his brother.

Army Spc. Dustin James Harris — recipient of the Army Achievement Medal, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart — died at age 21 on April 6, 2006, while serving in Iraq. This sacrifice placed him among the ranks of Maine’s many fallen heroes. But to his younger brother Dylan, he had always been a hero. Dylan was one of the 35 volunteers who hiked in Baxter State Park on Memorial Day weekend to honor service members who died in the line of duty. The memorial event was organized by The Summit Project, a new nonprofit organization with the mission to create a “living memorial” that pays tribute to the fallen service members from Maine who’ve died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001.

While some of the hikers were family members of the fallen, many of the hikers had never met the hero whose stone they carried up the 3,700-foot mountain called The Owl. Nevertheless, they were there to pay tribute. “I never knew him,” said Noah Hudson, 26, of Ocean Park, as he carried the tribute stone of Army National Guard Spc. Jeremiah J. Holmes of North Berwick. “But I feel like I did.”

Before carrying a tribute stone up a mountain, each hiker participating in The Summit Project is expected to learn about the person behind the initials etched in stone. They’re also tasked with writing a letter to the fallen hero’s family about the experience.

“It’s unlike anything else in America,” said Maj. David Cote, The Summit Project founder. “We collect stones, but we also collect stories of the fallen.”  MORE



The Summit Project carries tribute stones up mountaintop

Updated: Monday, May 26 2014, 11:13 PM EDT

BAXTER STATE PARK (WGME) — Many of the families of Maine’s fallen heroes spent time together this Memorial Day weekend for a special ceremony at the top of Mount Katahdin.

Dozens of volunteer hikers carried stones representing heroes who have fallen since September 11th.  It’s called the Summit Project and it was created by Major David Cote, a marine and Maine native.  The stones were carried to Owl Mountain in Baxter State Park.

“36 hikers who came together from all over the United States of America, as far as California and as close as Patten, Maine, carried our tribute stones and carried the memories of our fallen Maine heroes to the top of that peak,” said Maj. David Cote.

“Today when I felt his stone in my pack, I felt he died doing what he loved doing, which was flying and living a life of adventure and I thought about his parents and the weight they’ve been carrying with them since the loss of their son,” said a volunteer, who was hiking in honor of Brandon Silk.

The families of the fallen gathered at a campground over the weekend to support the hikers and thank them for their tribute.   MORE



WMTW — Volunteers scale heights of Maine mountain to honor fallen heroes;

Hikers carry stones etched in memory of Maine service members killed since 9/11

By Sharon Handy — Published  1:21 PM EDT May 26, 2014

MILLINOCKET, Maine —Three dozen hikers made it to the top of The Owl Peak in Baxter State Park over Memorial Day Weekend and fulfilled their promise to honor Maine’s fallen heroes.  The hikers each carried a stone etched with the initials, rank and branch of service of a service member who had died since Sept. 11, 2001. The excursion, which began in Portland on Friday, was sponsored by The Summit Project.  Founded by Marine Maj. David Cote, the project is intended to serve as a living memorial to Maine service members who have died serving their country since the Sept. 11 attacks.  One hundred members of the Patriot Riders motorcycle organization transported the stones more than 200 miles from Portland to Millinocket.  According to Cote, the youngest hiker of the group was Kevin Crise, 14, of Lee, who carried a stone in memory of his cousin Sgt. Joel House, who was killed by an IED in June 2007 in Iraq.  The hike took five hours, Cote said.

The oldest hiker was 75-year-old George Pulkkinen of Scarborough, who carried a 20-pound stone honoring Capt. Christopher Cash, who was killed in 2004 in Iraq.  Cote said after Pulkkinen played bagpipes at Cash’s funeral, he and Cash’s parents, Robert and Nancy Kelley of Old Orchard Beach, became good friends.  MORE.



Down East Magazine — THE THINGS THEY CARRY

Hikers honor fallen veterans at the summit of Maine’s tallest mountain.

It was Labor Day 2012 and Major David Cote, a Marine Corps officer, Iraq veteran, and native Mainer, stood at the summit of California’s Mount Whitney. That’s when the hike leaders (U.S. Navy Seals and fellow students at the Naval Postgraduate School) opened their packs and removed a collection of stones, all painted with the initials of Seals who had died during the previous year. It was an annual tradition, Cote learned — the stones were buried in a crevice at the mountaintop as a way to memorialize fallen comrades. The idea sparked something in Cote. “That image stayed burned in my mind,” he recalls. “I said, ‘I’m going to do something like this in my home state.’”

And on Memorial Day 2013, with the official launch of The Summit Project, he did. The Summit Project honors Maine service members who have died since September 11, 2001, by allowing citizens to carry a memorial stone along on an expedition of their own choosing — stones have already made it to the Daytona 500 in Florida and the summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This Memorial Day, the project’s inaugural Katahdin hike will bring 38 memorial stones, each engraved with a fallen hero’s initials and rank, to the top of the state’s tallest mountain.  But these stones won’t be left at the summit. Instead, they’ll return to their home at the Military Entrance Processing station in Portland, ready for further adventures in Maine and across the world.  MORE.



Houlton Pioneer Times – Summit Project honors memories of fallen soldiers

Gloria Austin – Staff Writer;  Pioneer TImes Template – Base E.

Honoring Fallen Maine Soldiers: The Summit Project Part II

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014.  By 

Sergeant First Class Aaron Henderson wasn’t scheduled to go to Afghanistan, but the Hodgdon native wanted to be there with a younger group of soldiers.  Henderson died from IED injuries on October 2nd, 2012. He was 33-years-old.  While Henderson’s life ended too soon, his story of selflessness will be shared forever, partly because of The Summit Project.  “Well I’ll be honest, I just didn’t think much about it. I thought,you know a rock. Okay. It didn’t mean anything to me. I was too deep into the grieving process,” said Aaron Henderson’s mother Chris.  Almost a year after her son’s death, Chris Henderson was asked to choose a memorial stone for The Summit Project, a program that memorializes Maine soldiers killed in the line of duty since September 11th.  “I think some people thought it was a wonderful idea from the get go, but it took me awhile to process it,” she said.   She picked a rock from property Aaron had purchased next to her’s in Hodgdon.  “It just brought the whole farm back together again and he had plans to, when he retired, to probably come back there and build a little house on that land,” said Henderson.  While the stone didn’t mean much to her at the time, she had no idea where it would travel one year later.

Read more and watch the video HERE.



Honoring Fallen Maine Soldiers: The Summit Project Part I

Posted Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 6:55 pm.  By 

We’ve told you about “The Summit Project” before. A Maine native created the program by asking families of fallen soldiers to select a special stone that represents their lost loved one. The goal of The Summit Project is to keep alive the memory of Maine’s fallen soldiers, like that of Specialist Jason Dore. The Moscow and Bingham native was killed in action in Iraq in 2007.  He was 25.  While his life ended way too soon, his legacy lives on and has even traveled around the world.  Caitlin Burchill takes a closer look at the memorial project.

Read more and watch her amazing video story HERE.


Summit Project is making a difference for families of fallen Maine soldiers

13 May 2014.

STATEWIDE (WGME) — This Memorial Day, a moving tribute to Maine’s fallen heroes will take place on the peak of Mount Katahdin.

It began with a vision by Major David Cote, an active duty Marine Corps Officer, Iraq war veteran and proud, native Mainer.

He has taken his support for Maine’s military families to the highest mountain peaks in the world. 

Army Corporal Andrew Hutchins was twenty years old, serving in Afghanistan, on November 8th, 2010.  He had just taken over a shift in a guard tower, when shots were fired from the village below.  READ MORE and watch the VIDEO here… 


WLOB Radio and Shannon Moss’ Split Screen Show —

May 8, 2014.  Today I was so honored to accept the invitation and join local journalist Shannon Moss on her radio show to talk about The Summit Project. Shannon and I have worked together on sharing The Summit Project with Mainers in Down East magazine and on her TV show, Split Screen. Thank you Shannon. Maine heroes are NOT forgotten.  djc

Listen to that Radio Interview.  Check out Shannon Moss’ Split Screen story on The Summit Project here.

Down East Magazine — May 2014 print issue and video story

Thanks to the great article by Caroline Praderio, The Summit Project is featured in the May issue of Down East Magazine, the magazine of Maine!


Also, reporter Shannon Moss visits the project’s headquarters in Portland and discusses its mission with founder Major David J. Cote, USMC.  Watch the video here.



MEPS TSP Honor Room Ribbon Cutting Ceremony — Portland Maine, March 29, 2014

Together with the Commanding Officer of the Maine Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), we held a ribbon cutting ceremony of The Summit Project’s Fallen Heroes Memorial room at the Maine MEPS Office, 510 Congress St. Portland, ME on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at four o’clock in the afternoon.



Our collection of memorial stones, each of which uniquely represents a fallen Maine hero, will be displayed in the Fallen Heroes Memorial room at the Portland MEPS. It is from this room that new volunteers will embark on expeditions to honor and sustain the memories of our fallen. This room and surrounding halls of the MEPS office is the precise place where the next generation of Maine veterans will take their oaths of enlistment, enter our ranks, and carry on the torch of our proud Maine veteran legacy, passed on to them from the last generation of Maine veterans, particularly our brave fallen heroes.

WCSH6 News Story

WGME News Story



The quiet stories of 2013 weren’t ‘trending’ on Twitter, but were fascinating, moving  — By Sarah Smiley — Jan 5, 2014

On New Year’s Eve, a round-up of 2013’s “trending” stories and people — including Miley Cyrus, Paula Deen and Phil Robertson — got me thinking … and discouraged. There are so many wonderful, quiet stories in communities across the country that never “trend.” The search terms don’t “auto-fill” on Google. The people behind the stories are hardly household names. And yet, these stories are certainly more fascinating than Miley Cyrus and her twerking.

Three of these quiet stories that I witnessed this past year are below.

First, in October, our family met and had dinner with David Cote, a major in the Marine Corps and the 2011 Military Time’s Marine of the Year. A go-getter since he started his own paper route in Bangor at the age of eight, Cote later became an Eagle Scout in high school. Now, the young major is embarking on his biggest and most important feat yet: the Summit Project.  READ MORE.  



Eastern Maine Community College dedicates new student veteran lounge

The Summit Project was honored to join Eastern Maine Community College on Friday, 12/13/13. Together we celebrated the life of former student and first EMCC Student Veterans Association President, Robert E. Gilbert. The SVA conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony of a new student veterans lounge, dedicated in Robert’s name. Robert was a strong advocate for Maine veterans and he championed the creation of the SVA during his time at EMCC.  We were truly honored to be invited to the event, share our mission, and speak with other community leaders to include Lawrence Barrett, Ed.D – EMCC President; Scott Mitchell – SVA Commanding Officer, and Ben Sprague – Mayor City of Bangor.

Thank you Robert E. Gilbert for your passion to serve veterans and carrying your stone to your summit. Maine heroes are NOT forgotten!



“The Summit Project” Honors Fallen Maine Soldiers

Monday, November 11th, 2013 By Caitlin Burchill

“The Summit Project” pays tribute to fallen service members from Maine who have died since September 11th.  A Maine native created the memorial by asking families of these heroes to donate a special stone that represents their fallen loved one.  Monday, these engraved stones traveled in the Bangor-Brewer Veterans Day Parade with the Marine Corps League.

“It’s an awesome and honoring experience. It’s one I was glad we were able to do today,” said Joe Fisher, a member of the Marine Corps League.  “It was an honor beyond belief. I’m a Vietnam veteran and to be able to walk with these stones was like walking in the shadow of fallen comrades,” said Dwight McIntosh, another Marine Corps League member.

“This is truly a living memorial. These stones and the spirit and the stories of our fallen heroes are very much alive and it’s what the families want for us, not to forget about our fallen comrades,” said Major David Cote, “The Summit Project” creator.  Maj. Cote is an active duty U.S. Marine Corps officer who now lives in Arlington.  He flew back to his home state for the parade to share the project with the community.  Read MORE here. 


Summit Project helps fallen heroes’ legacies live on

Nov 12, 2013 by Aly Myles

A U.S. Marine Corps major from Maine has created a way for fallen heroes to pass on their legacies. WMTW News 8’s Aly Myles reports.   Watch the VIDEO here.  


Memorial stones honor fallen Maine soldiers Summit Project a living memorial for soldiers’ families

Nov 11, 2013 By Aly Myles

PORTLAND, Maine —A major in the U.S. Marine Corps with ties to Maine is honoring the state’s fallen soldiers.

Maj. David Cote said he wants the families of the soldiers to know their loved ones’ sacrifice will live on forever.  Click here for pictures of the stones.  It is called the Summit Project, and it started as a dream to honor every Maine fallen hero, but now the project is a living memorial that has no end in sight.

Each family that wants to be a part of the Summit Project gives Cote a stone that means something to their fallen soldier.  The stone is engraved with the soldier’s initials, rank and years they were alive.  “Anything we can do for our soldiers at home or overseas, we’re going to do,” said Charles Downes who is donating engraving services to the Summit Project.   For the families, the project means much more.  Read MORE here.   Watch the VIDEO here.


Dinner with the Smileys: This Marine Corps Major Has a New Mission

Each month, Sarah and Dustin Smiley invite a new guest to have dinner with them and their three sons. You can read more about the project here.

David Cote has been described by some who know him as “the state of Maine’s greatest export.” A go-getter since he started his own paper route at the age of eight (“That’s younger than me,” my middle son, Owen, 10, said) and became an Eagle Scout in high school, David, a Major in the Marine Corps, is now embarking on his biggest and most important feat: The Summit Project.

The Summit Project is a living memorial to honor every service member from Maine who has died since 9/11. The families of these service members select a rock from a special location, and David has it engraved with the service member’s initials and birth- and death- years. On Memorial Day 2014, he and a team of hikers will carry the rocks up Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain and the end of the Appalachian Trail. Then they will carry the rocks back down so that more hikers can do the same for years to come. According to David, “We will honor the fallen by challenging the living.” (Some of the rocks are close to 20 pounds.) MORE….


The Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) — Maine Marine Plans Mt. Katahdin Memorial for Fallen Comrades

09/09/2013   Reported By: Tom Porter
As the nation prepares to mark a solemn anniversary this Wednesday, a serving military officer from Maine is planning a unique way of memorializing the several dozen Mainers who have died serving their country since 9/11. Marine corps Maj. David Cote – originally from Waterville, Maine – is putting a together a collection of stones, each of them engraved with the details of one of the 46 Mainers who fallen in combat since 9/11 – mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Memorial Day next year, he plans to lead a hike to the summit of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak, where a temporary memorial will be constructed from the stones. Tom Porter spoke with Maj. Cote about the project. MORE…..


WABI TV5 – Maine-Based Company Helps Remember the State’s Fallen

Bucksport – Maine heroes are not forgotten.  That’s the message Maine native Maj. David Cote is sending with The Summit Project. Cote and his brother plan to remember Maine’s fallen by hiking up Mt. Katahdin on Memorial Day of 2014.  The engraved stones, representing those who lost their lives, will also make the trek to the top of the mountain.

The owner of Downes Enterprise, Charles Downes, is volunteering his time for the project by doing all of the engraving.  Families of the military members have picked stones from right here in Maine.   Downes said “Each one of these stones come from either the solider who passed, either their favorite hunting spot, fishing spot, their farm. Each stone is attached to each individual solider in some specific way.”

The owner and his wife also plan to hike the mountain with the memorials in hand, something Downes says is a small sacrifice. “You put a rock in a backpack that’s representing the rucksacks they put on their back everyday. To hike that mountain, these soldiers are hiking god knows how many miles all the time. I think it’s just an all around great idea.”  MORE…


WABI TV5 —  Maine Native Has Hiking Plan To Honor Fallen Veterans

A Maine native has come up with a project to honor fallen veterans who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.  While the project is still evolving, he hopes to gather support for it.   He calls it “The Summit Project,” and his plan, to get a group to hike up Mt. Katahdin next Memorial Day with stones given to him by families of fallen Maine soldiers.

“I think that this idea of hiking a stone which represents the fallen is kind of a metaphor of bearing a cross. Making a small sacrifice because they made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Maj. David Cote, “The Summit Project” creator.  Cote thought of the idea on Memorial Day when his Navy Seal friends honored their fallen comrades by leaving stones on top of a mountain in California.  While the active duty Marine Corps officer now lives in Arlington, he wants to honor those from a place he calls home.

We spoke to him via Skype.    MORE…


Marine Corps Times — Battle Rattle — Maine Marine’s Memorial Day Mission

Our 2011 Marine of the year is making headlines again–this time, for an ambitious project to honor all the fallen troops hailing from his home state.

We caught up with Maj. David Cote, a Pentagon budget analyst, earlier this year about his work in support of homeless veterans, centering on the development of an analytical tool to determine risk factors that caught the attention of San Diego mayor Bob Filner and a number of members of Congress. The tool, the the Service Member Attrition Risk Tool (SMART) is now being used by Veteran’s Village in San Diego to serve its homeless and at-risk population.

If he wasn’t staying busy enough between that project and his day job, Cote recently announced the launch of a 12-month project to commemorate all the troops from his home state of Maine who have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Called the Summit Project, it will culminate on May 26, 2014 in a hike up Mt. Katahdin in Maine’s Baxter State Park to create a memorial at the top with a stone inscribed to honor each service member.  MORE…


Portland Press Herald — Marine seeks Katahdin memorial for Maine’s fallen


David Cote, a Bangor native and Marine Corps major who is stationed in Washington, D.C., has an idea to honor the 46 service members from Maine who have died in the global war on terror. He calls it “The Summit Project.”

If his project goes according to plan, it won’t look like a memorial, but just a pile of rocks similar to the many others that mark the trails leading to Maine’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin.  His plan still needs the approval of Baxter State Park officials, which is unlikely to happen, but right now he is trying to spread the word this Memorial Day in hopes that his vision will be a reality by Memorial Day 2014.  MORE….


Bangor Daily News — Bangor Marine wants to memorialize fallen soldiers with stones placed on Mt. Katahdin

BANGOR, Maine — U.S. Marine Corps Maj. David Cote said he always wanted to do something to memorialize Mainers who died in combat. With Memorial Day approaching, he now has a plan.

Cote, a 1997 Bangor High School graduate, is organizing an effort to have families or representatives of fallen military personnel engrave small stones and place them on Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park. Cote said he’s focusing on memorializing those who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Red Dawn — because there are few such monuments to them.  MORE….