ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Four teams of 20 hikers are preparing to summit Cadillac Mountain on Oct. 1 as part of The Summit Project, a living tribute honoring Maine’s military service members who have died since Sept. 11, 2001.
Each hiker will carry an engraved stone, donated by the families of the fallen, to the summit and back. The hikers will proceed to the summit from four sides: north, south, west, east. The hikers will arrive at the peak at the same time, where private ceremonies will be held.
The hikers will be joined by Gold Star Family members of Maine’s honored fallen heroes for a day of fellowship and remembrance at Smuggler’s Den campground in Southwest Harbor. Many of the 80 hikers are Gold Star Family members: parents, widows, siblings, cousins. The remaining are volunteers who have committed to honor the fondest wishes of the survivors: to ensure that the vibrant lives of their loved ones are remembered and not forgotten.
The event itself is not open to the public. Organizers ask the community to show support by providing a heroes’ welcome to the families of the fallen and the Patriot Guard Riders, by filling the business district with signs and flags along the roadway to the island and into Southwest Harbor.