This is just a small collection of quotes that help measure the qualitative impact of The Summit Project. Each quote is taken from the reflections of TSP participants and can be found with credit to the author, on other pages of this site. You TOO can be part of this Living Memorial, give something back, honor the fallen by challenging the living, build and bolster community, reinforce our values of citizenship and service, and ensure that Maine heroes are NOT forgotten. Get Involved today.
You set up a flywheel. It enables people to engage and understand and do in ways a statue or park doesn’t. That’s a very, very big deal.
I am going to remember this day for the rest of my life.
This is an experience I’ll never forget, and I hope to be able to honor another soldier who has passed, perhaps even Edmund one day. My eyes were opened to how good we have it in America, and the struggles and hardships of a soldier in combat.
I heard of The Summit Project while I was deployed to Afghanistan last year and I knew from the onset that my first hike would be in honor of Jerry. It has been many years since I have had the opportunity to go back to Greenville or see any of the Smith family but you never forget where you came from. The Summit Project and this opportunity has bridged that gap. It has warmed my heart and I truly feel blessed to pay homage to Jerry and the Smith family….
…I felt his never-quit leadership as my sneakers filled with cold water and the wind chill temps dipped well into the single digits. And I felt his joyful spirit when I hoisted his stone high into the sun-setting sky…
As I researched Robert M. Horrigan I was overcome with admiration. He lived his life staying true to himself and to others. He was a natural born leader. The fact that he went from Rangers, to special forces, to delta force at such a young age is awe inspiring. It in fact inspired me to consider joining the Marines. From what his mother posted on the Summit website he was very modest, and that is something that is very hard to come by. As I carried his rock up Bradbury I kept on thinking about the uphill battle he went through, or all soldiers go through in war. I became so overwhelmed that I ran up Bradbury the whole way not stopping except for a few times to let the others catch up. I felt that if he had to give 110% the whole time then so should I. I imagined he had to run a lot so I thought I could connect a little better if I experienced some kind of physical exertion.
I can honestly say that, prior to TSP, I had never participated in any event like this before. It was truly incredible.
This was truly an emotional and spiritual journey.
Words cannot explain how amazing of an experience the Summit Project has been for me. Being the younger brother of one of our Fallen Heroes, this Project means a lot to my family and myself.
This was the most amazing, emotional, beautiful weekend I have spent in a while.
…I will carry him in my heart always…
I hope that Dan would be proud of his influence in my life and proud of how his sacrifice has enriched the lives of others.
This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to be a part of this project. I have shared this story and what it has meant to me to anyone who would listen.
I cannot begin to imagine the weight you carry with you, but want to thank you for allowing me to shoulder just a small amount of weight for a short time.
Such a beautiful story of Honor and Remembrance. Thank you
David for giving our families such a wonderful way of sharing our loved ones’ stories. Thanks to The Summit Project for assuring that Maine Fallen Heroes are Not Forgotten!
You don’t realize how much this Summit Project and participating in it has meant to me.
The bonds created and the support I received was incredible! In just one day, I gained lifelong friends and comrades whom I hold close to my heart forever.
…When you see all those stones it hits you that each one represents a human being who gave their life for this great country and to keep us free.
The weekend of the actual event was like no other – being surrounded by so many volunteers, hikers, bikers and family members was an amazing experience.
Even as I was hiking up the mountain, I still underestimated just how emotional the ceremony would be. Talking about the life of this soldier, I began to feel it. It was somber, but uplifting at the same time. This wasn’t about his death, but about what he had done while he was alive.
All of us were strangers once, but we’re strangers no more.
Often it seems we’re hit hard by bad news all around us… but this weekend I was reminded of something. Something that I know is there but is often unseen. It’s the power of what we as American’s can accomplish when we come together for a cause. It gives me hope for the future! Dave’s idea to support families of the fallen and his mission to Always Remember may have more power to effect positive change in more people than he may even realize!
Each step on the trail with his stone gave me the chance to reflect on his service, commitment and great sacrifice. I talked with him about our shared love for the Red Sox and the Fighting Irish. I forged a bond and connection with my brother in law climbing that mountain that will remain always and forever.
This was all very fulfilling for me; to pass on to students’ values and beliefs that seem to have started to disappear from our culture. I didn’t realize that what I was missing was the honor and respect owed to our Fallen. I hope that they are able to experience the many emotions, sense of camaraderie and inner strength I didn’t know I had.
This was very emotional for me, as over the past few months, I have learned quite a bit about your son – I feel like I really know him. I’ve learned that he was a quiet humble man, that would never stop and never quit, and those are the feelings I had with me at the summit – his perseverance and love of his country.
At the end I saw the real meaning behind this march for me. Maine heroes are not forgotten because they still live in our hearts. Opportunities like this do not tear open an old wound. They remind us how special our fallen friends are and how their journey is now ours. I am happy for the opportunity to remember our fallen Soldiers and it is refreshing to see so many people invested in this project.
Taking part in this hike you really feel the weight of someone’s life as you carry the stone up the mountain. You feel the sadness of the lost life. The energy used in the hike is only a fraction of the tiredness from all the training they had to go through. Jerry was an athletic, friendly man who was loved by many and will always be missed.
As I stood on the top of Cadillac it was impossible to ignore the emotions and thoughts going through my head. But most of all I was grateful that Patrick’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain. Looking around at everyone in our team I was amazed by how the living memory of one man could foster such a sense of community, perseverance, teamwork, selflessness and service to others. There is no doubt that Patrick’s sacrifice was for the greater good.
I will always remember this and how I climbed my first mountain just to remember him.
People don’t think a lot about the general hardships and struggles that people go through when they’re serving in the military. Being outdoors in 40-degree temperatures is fine for three or four or five hours.
His life, and the lessons his life teaches us all will reach more and more people. His memory is alive and well and his sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Jay’s Stone has touched one more person and will continue to touch others long after we are gone. We cannot quantify how his Stone will affect others and make our community stronger, but know that it will.
Your Jay will forever be in my heart and on my mind. I pledge to continue to tell people I meet about your fine American Hero.
I could not stop thinking about it and what the project truly means. It is truly a tangible and living way to honor our fallen Maine heroes. It can help the people of Maine and all Americans connect with our military and their families in a very personal and meaningful way.
The Summit Project is a community of Maine’s fallen heroes united as a family. This family has grown by sharing its stories and support.
The Summit Project is something I would like more people to participate in; I think that people should sacrifice an afternoon of their lives to show gratitude and appreciation to men and women who sacrificed their lives for us. I am eternally grateful to Mr. Cote and everyone else who is involved with the Summit Project. My dad opened up about his war experience, and I was able to be there in a way I’ve never been able to before. Listening, connecting, understanding; Tommy and Chris helped my dad nine years after he got back from war just because of this project.
I would like to also explain to you how my hike up the mountain could symbolize what your loved one experienced during war. While hiking up this mountain it was pretty cold, it had also snowed the night before which made it a bit slippery. Both of these factors required more focus and strength while hiking, as it would for war too.
Before we started our hike I got the rock for Justin and put it in my backpack. Then I heard my principal, Mr. Horn holler that there was another rock left and they needed a volunteer to take it, I stepped up and took it. Like in war, sometimes you have to take on more than one thing for the sake of other people. So, I definitely felt like that symbolized what he may have had to do during war. In all honesty, there were times where I just wanted to be in my warm bed and give up. Although similar to Justin, I had to continue going on with my mission…..In all honesty, I could never bring myself to believe that a hike up a mountain is anything like war. Yes, I can make connections and it helps me understand war a bit better. At the end of the day though, there is no mountain big enough to be equivalent to fighting in a war. If there were, I just want you to know, I would hike it for your lost loved one.
When I first heard about it, I didn’t realize how much of an impact it was going to have on me. My English class and a few World History classes are doing units on War and Literature. We were introduced to the Summit Project as a field trip, who doesn’t like field trips?! But it turned out to be much more than “just a field trip”, it really had an impact on me and got me thinking in ways I had never thought…This experience will have an everlasting impression on me, one I will never forget.
I am grateful to know that such a wonderful man lived. He will NEVER be forgotten! I am humbled by this experience. It is with pain and pride that I will remember this extraordinary young man, taken from us too soon.
It was my honor and personal privilege to carry James’s stone and be able to look you both in the eye and say with 100% assurance that James’s memory lives on in a living memorial where countless more hikers and trekkers can learn the life of your son and because of that connection – they can make better decisions about leadership, service and giving back.
To carry the rock honoring a man who sacrificed part of his life to ensure that I can live mine. It’s not easy going miles from home in a place where most wouldn’t want to go. Hiking up the mountain and just thinking about the sacrifice my soldier made, inspired me a bit. It made me think of pursuing a military career after high school. I want to help people, and make a difference like the many brave heroes that do it today.
Men like Dale Kelly, inspire me to be a leader and protect others. To complete my quest of being the hero I’ve always wanted to be. Protecting this beloved country. I found even more respect for veterans, and men who serve. I have to shake someones hand when I walk by them and thank them for the protection. These soldiers, especially Staff Sargent Dale Kelly Junior, are my Spiderman.
The things I learned about Capt. Keating and his service in Afghanistan will stick in my memory for a long time. I know that I will remember my time spent on the road that day with his stone in my pack and his story in my head for a long, long time.
The Summit Project far surpassed any expectations that I could have ever possibly imagined.
It was through everyone’s sincere and genuine display of love and appreciation for great men such as Mark that we can truly understand the impact and everlasting impression he has made upon both our great state and our nation.
This past weekend was proof positive that Mark is and will forever be in our hearts, our prayers, and our minds. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue to share his story with the world.
I would carry Andrew’s rock to the ends of the earth. His words gave me strength to get through that deployment.
When I carried CPT Tranchemontagne’s stone up Bradbury I felt the weight of the stone and at the same time I felt the weight that his absence must bring upon his friends and family and fellow soldiers, even the weight that he felt while fighting for his country. I thought about how he must have felt while serving his country, I thought about what he must have missed his friends and family while serving and how they miss him now that he is gone. I thought about how brave he is…
I am so grateful that the memories of our fallen are living on and I am so grateful to have met everyone and created an even bigger family then I had before.
When I first signed up, I thought it would merely be a project about honoring soldiers. Then as we talked as a class, and I started researching, I realized it was more than that.
I cannot express enough thanks to all of those who participated in this event. I felt so much admiration and pride in all of those who selflessly dedicated themselves to honor those like my brother.
Carrying Joshua’s stone just reaches into your soul and really grabs you, I’ve met his family only once and can’t imagine their pain and suffering for their loss, but I get a feeling for it every time I’ve told Joshua’s story. Joshua has changed every single one of us that has carried his stone, none of us anticipated that and yet there it is.
The Summit Project was an amazing month and a half, and I realized how thankful I should be for people who risk their lives for others and how thankful I should be for my family and friends.
Not knowing Wade personally puts me into different shoes than his family, but I can say that just reading about him and carrying up his honorable stone, makes an impact. I love the idea of the Summit Project and the positive effect it has had on me…
Through Ryan’s story, I have learned that life itself is a mountain; there are peaks and there are valleys. There are moments where you can feel the sun on your face and see for miles, and still others where you find yourself in darkness with seemingly no way out. When I tell people about Ryan, I will tell them that there is always a reason to climb, that there won’t always be darkness, and that, if you can make it through the rise and the fall, through the peaks and valleys, that the view from the top is worth the fight it took to get there.
Carrying his stone up the mountain was a huge blessing, and it made me feel like I knew Aaron. His bravery and his loyalty to this country will forever be remembered by me, and whoever else may get the honor to carry his stone. When I started to do some research on Aaron to get to know him, I found so many interesting facts about him. As I read on, it made me do some thinking. What if I was a mom? What if that was my kid? How would I feel? What would I do? So Christine, I just want you to know you are a brave mother, and it must hurt not having Aaron around anymore, but I can tell you this: Aaron is watching over you and your family, and he loves you very much. Your son will never be forgotten.
As I climbed the mountain with a close friend, I grew tired quickly and even ran out of breath. I tried imagining what it would’ve been like to be climbing mountains for 12 hours a day in 90 degree heat.
The Summit Project is one of the greatest experiences I have had in my high school career so far.
You know, one of my bucket list items is to make an impact in a stranger’s life. It has not escaped me that through this journey, it was actually a stranger who made the most profound impact in my life. Josh is not forgotten. I will carry him in my heart always.