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    What a fantastic day. We never met up with the other group that was ascending Lafayette but had brought our own flag and long (10ft) pole. My husband and I have rarely hiked in the last twenty years, so we were a little concerned about our ability to complete this hike. We were accompanying my sister, Elizabeth Kovalcin, who lost her husband on the first plane to hit the towers on 9/11. David, her husband, was an avid hiker and Elizabeth and their chocolate lab, Marley, frequently went with him. This was a very emotional, yet uplifting, event. We didn’t reach the peak until l:20 but raised our flag, with the pole jammed between two boulders to stay upright, until about 2:30PM. The wind was constant and the flag was flapping noisily. It was a great vision for us as well as many others who passed by. Many took it as a great photo op. We even had a group of Canadian students stop to have their picture taken sitting on the boulders on each side of the flag. We’re a little sore today but feel the experience for all of us was once in a lifetime.