BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A new partnership between the Bangor Public Library and The Summit Project kicked off Monday with a tribute march and ceremony.
The Summit Project aims to create a living memorial that honors Mainers who have died in the line of duty since 2001, using commemorative rocks to tell their stories.
"The Summit Project keeps these soldier's spirits alive,” said Don White, the godfather of Jay Brainard, a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012. "He was escorting two Blackhawk helicopters through the mountains and his Apache helicopter got shot down,” White said.
The timing of the event falling in line with the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that ultimately prompted the wars the fallen died serving in.
The rocks with the names of the fallen, as well as their year of birth and death, were carried through the streets to the library, where they were placed into a display case.
The display serves to keep the memory of those servicemen and servicewomen alive.
"It is kind of an eye-opener for a lot of people. If you don't have anybody, any family members or know anyone in the military you kind of just go about your daily life and take for granted the freedom that we have,” White said.
White joined other Gold Star families, veterans and community members in the march and ceremony.
Organizers said it is about keeping the memories of our fallen alive is what this project is all about.
“It's pretty amazing," said Jackie Carter, a veteran with The Summit Project. "I think everyone that does this, whether you're a Veteran or not, you find that the stone picks you. You find that there's always a connection."
“There's always that connection there, and it's kind of strange how our fallen heroes live through that to those of us who are living and carrying their stories,” he said.
The rocks on display will not be on display for a short time at the end of the month as they will be carried to the top of Cadillac Mountain by members of The Summit Project.
The display will be open to the public daily through the end of October.
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