Came across this post on the rec.climbing newsgroup and thought I’d share it:
Subject: “Flags atop the 48” – TR
Date: 2002-09-15 05:50:58 PST
Funny how few coincidences are truly coincidental.
Weeks ago, I had encountered this effort on the web, off a newsgroup, but
had let it go once I realized that all the good summits had been
The object was to fly a flag atop each of New Hampshire’s 48 four thousand
footers on Saturday, September 14th in honor of those perished in the WTC
Saturday morning, Susan and I were packing up at the Cog railway’s
Marshfield station when, at last option, I tossed my clarinet into the pack
with thoughts of a quiet summit rehearsal. A mile later up the Ammonoosuc
trail, I exchange good mornings with a Maine man with 5 foot aluminum poles
protruding from his pack. And before he could explain the poles, it struck
me. It was “Flags atop the 48” day, and we were along for the ceremonies!
Atop Mt. Monroe, as Garret unfurled his 3′ x 5′ old glory, hoisted it atop
the 15′ mast and guyed it down in the 5-15 mph southerly, I cranked up
mountainous renditions of Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America. As
folks wandered across the summit over the noon-to-2 p.m. flag time, funeral
dirges and blues from the clarinet haunted hikers’ hearts as clouds
threatened summits everywhere.
Garret’s high school had lost 19 individuals in the WTC disaster; mostly
NYPD firemen who responded. He had driven from Kingfield, Maine to honor
his classmates, to do his due this day.
The two hours passed like a storm at sea. Day and thru-hikers, 12 Canadians
and even a family from Dresden paused atop to take it all in. Hikers in the
Presidential range heading south passed our regards to Eisenhower, and north
to Washington where other flag raisers resided this day. The naked eye
could discern flags only atop Eisenhower and Jefferson, and hinted at its
presence atop Isolation. All others required binoculars and a parting of
After one more Star Spangled Banner, we sounded taps at 2 p.m. and lowered
the flag. As we descended and passed upcoming hikers, we thought what a
different summit Monroe had been for those two hours. A memorial service of
a high order had been quietly marked, on a smokey overcast day atop a
founder’s hill. The service left no trace, discernable anyway, on the
hilltop. But in our hearts and memories, images will last a lifetime.
Is this the same “Guido” that started this thread?