“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.
“It’s an excellent one. One that Maine veterans should be very proud to have somebody of his caliber to be from Maine and to honor all of our veterans and their families as well,” said Fisher.
Maj. Cote’s mother carried the stone of late Master Sgt. Ryan Love.
“I wish I could carry them all, but it was impossible, so I carried one to represent all the mothers who have lost either their sons or daughters in the military. Fortunate for me, my son is here doing their memory for them, but hopefully doing this project will help lighten their load and know that their son’s and daughter’s memories are still alive,” said Monica Cote.
“The Summit Project” organizers hope volunteers will join them in carrying these stones up Mt. Katahdin on Memorial Day.
“To pay a small sacrifice to carry the stones because of the ultimate sacrifice that they made is a tremendous honor,” said Maj. Cote.
“This is the true definition of ’He’s not heavy, he’s my brother,’” said McIntosh.