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Climb to Remember

A flag at the summit of one of 11 mountains in Maine, placed by the cadets in the Army JROTC program at Nokomis Regional High School on Sept. 12 in memory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. (Nick Pease photo)

By Nick Pease

Eleven of Maine’s 14 peaks of 4000 feet or more in elevation were scaled on Saturday, Sept. 12, and American flags were flown from the summits.

These coordinated climbs were all part of the Climb to Remember project, similar to the Flags on the 48 project in New Hampshire. Climb to Remember aims to flag an American flag from all summits in Maine that are above 4000 feet, on the Saturday after 9/11. All of the flags were flown at noon, and with the clear skies, flags could be seen flying on neighboring peaks.

The Climb to Remember started and is run by the cadets in the Army JROTC program at Nokomis Regional High School. What started off as an annual hike for cadets of the program was expanded into a statewide campaign for hiking groups to carry their own flags to the summits.

Although not all of the cadets were born before 9/11, they have all been impacted indirectly. Many cadets’ families have told stories as they vividly remember where they were and what they were doing at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001..

Those stories motivated cadets to conduct this hike and expand it so others could help memorialize those whose lives had been forever changed.

This was the first year the climb went public and the response was fantastic. Of the 14 peaks, 11 of them received hiking groups and all of those 11 had flags flown from the summits.

The weather was just perfect for hiking. Clear skies on the summit and low winds made for a beautiful climb.

Next year is a big year. Two decades after the attacks, the hike is on September 11, 2021 which also happens to be a Saturday.

We are confident that we can get groups on all 14 peaks!

You can check out more about the hike on the Facebook page (https://tinyurl.com/climbtoremember) and the website (https://tinyurl.com/climbtoremembersite).

Nick Pease is a student at Nokomis Regional High School and is a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel with the Army Junior ROTC program at the school.

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