GregSeptember 13, 2003 at 11:27 pmPost count: 397
9-11 Victims Remembered atop N.H. peaks
By Lisa Marie Pane, Associated Press, 9/13/2003 19:13
Eight students at Londonderry High School and two chaperones were among the hikers who planted American flags atop New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot peaks Saturday in an annual tribute to the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
For one of the chaperones, Gail Linehan of Londonderry, it also more personal her adviser at the University of New Hampshire was among those killed in the second commercial jet that terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.
”It was a very emotional day, I think, for everyone,” said Linehan, 49, who climbed Mount Liberty two days after 9-11 in 2001 and Wildcat Mountain last year. ”When you know someone who was one of the victims, you feel for all of the people who were survivors and their losses.”
Her adviser ”was a person who spent a lot of time hiking, and also was a person who spent his whole life trying to understand cultures and be very tolerant. To be killed at the hands of terrorists was really sad.”
Linehan’s group climbed Mount Field, and then crossed a ridge line and climbed Mount Tom, about seven hours of hiking.
At the summit, they raised a flag, lit some candles, observed a moment of silence and each one spoke on how they felt. They also carried a list of the police officers and firefighters killed at the World Trade Center.
”It’s kind of a way of saying I’m proud of being an American, proud of the flag, proud of the country, proud of who we are and what we stand for,” said Basil Dixon, 47, of Boston, as he stood atop Mount Hale in Bethlehem.
The ”Flags on the 48” event was born in 2001. Three days after the attacks on New York and Washington, several regular contributors to the Appalachian Mountain Club Hiker Journal online message forum planned a hike up Mount Liberty with the largest American flag they could find.
Calling it a ”small gesture for such a gigantic loss,” six hikers carried a flag to the summit and raised it at noon, Sept. 15, 2001.
Their gesture attracted widespread support, and last year several hundred hikers carried flags to New Hampshire’s peaks of 4,000 feet or higher, a tradition that continued this weekend.
”By demonstrating our steadfast unity as Americans and as hikers, we hope to express our unwavering support to the families and to the communities whose losses are beyond comprehension and whose sacrifices will forever remain in our hearts,” said a message on the Web site dedicated to the event.
The idea was to plant large flags, so they could be seen from some distance, from noon to 2 p.m..
”It’s kind of inspiring to see flags flying from all of the 48 summits,” Dixon said, ”not than you can see them all from here.”
From Mount Hale he saw three or four others.
Also atop Mount Hale was Julie Smith, 33, of Nashua. Hale was the 46th of the 48 4,000+ peaks she’s reached in New Hampshire.
”Every mountain I do has its own special properties,” she said. ”There’s nothing extraordinary about this one, so the event adds a special touch to this particular mountain.”
She said every now and then the breeze caused the flag to unfurl, making for a beautiful sight.FrodoParticipantSeptember 14, 2003 at 4:11 amPost count: 333
Fantastic article! Great job Lisa, Gail and Julie!
Lisa and Julie, it was a pleasure meeting you 2 today…
Gail, never forget, your one of the main reasons why this event even exists…
Awesome job everyone!AlpinistaSeptember 16, 2003 at 2:13 amPost count: 45
Thanks to everyone who came with me on the hike to Mt. Hale, thanks to the organizers for this very meaningful event, and a special thanks to Gail for agreeing to be interviewed. I hope this becomes an annual event for many years to come — and I was glad to see folks like Gail put some real thought into their summit tributes, making the event truly what it was designed to do: to memorialize those who died and to never forget what we all went through that fateful day.
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