I didn’t fully realize how this event would impact me until the past few days after seeing all the peaks with flags in the Gallery. On a mountain like Madison, we knew our best chance for spotting a flag would be Adams (sorry we missed it SuperDave). We were wondering what the turn-out on all the other peaks would actually be. With all the activity on the summit, chatting with friends and passersby, the two hours passed so quickly. I didn’t get as much of a chance to reflect on why we were doing this as I would have liked to. Seeing all these great photos has given me that chance.
I feel the event was a huge success. Every single participant, whether you carried pieces of a flagpole cleverly constructed from PVC pipe, flew a flag kite on Lincoln, or just stopped for a second to appreciate what we were doing, you were truly part of something special that demonstrated unity as hikers and Americans.
And yes, there was some negativity about the event. I received an Email condemning the event, but what do you know, it was just another knee-jerk reaction from someone that didn’t have all the facts and thought we were going to leave the flag displays on the summits. And of course there were the threads on the AMC forums, most of which seemed to use this event as springboards into political debates. As I saw it, we were not making a statement; there was no political agenda; and we were certainly not trying to change the world. It didn’t really matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat; a Left-wing Liberal, a Right-wing Conservative, or somewhere in between. We’re all Americans and the patriotism and unity demonstrated on Saturday is what makes this country so strong.
Mac’s story of his first son being born on 9/11 was touching and hits close to home as my wife and I are expecting our first. Mac, you were on West Bond that day, at least in spirit. By honoring those that no longer have the chance to experience how precious life is, I hope each of us now value life in new ways. I took a lot from this experience.
Thank you to all that participated.