SilentCalOctober 24, 2004 at 3:22 pmPost count: 1307
First off, a huge and tremendous thank you to all those who took part in the event this year. Every year this event has grown stronger because of the Flagbearers who are commited to keeping this memorial event going. Every year we get the veterans of this event to go out and do their thing and it’s fantastic too see many old faces and meet new ones as the years go by. The newcomers to the event always report of the pleasant surprise of thank-yous and sincere comments of folks who happen to be passing by the summit. I think that this is what captures the spirit of this event. These comments and the feeling that you are a part of something larger bring the true sense of the memorial out and bring home the message of our mission statement.
I’d also like to thank Mother Nature. We’ve been blessed with good weather for this event every year now and this year’s event was most likely the best weather day we could have hoped for. It’s a hidden treat of this event to get your display assembled and then sit back and peer out to other summits in hope of seeing someone elses display. Very little haze and some gusty breezes allowed for optimum viewing conditions and a great time on the summit stay.
Now we must look to the future. I’m fairly certain that we achieved one of our goals that we’ve had from the beginning. It was hoped that this event would be a hiker-grassroots effort and this has succeeded. The word of mouth of this event via Internet Bulletin boards and of the hiking community has broadened the hiker base. Many hikers who did not sign up for a peak still made the trek out to see a flag and help out where they could. It was nice to read of this volunteer effort. I don’t believe that covering the peaks will be a serious question from now on. Sure it may be harder to get folks to go to remote peaks like Owl’s Head and the Bonds but we have a large community now and can much better prepare for it.
I think that the most serious question we have about this event is how to standardize the event date. If we go with tradition, we keep the event on the closest Saturday to 9/11. That’s how the very first event came about on Mt. Liberty. It’s how we’ve decided the date in 2002 and 2003. To fly the Flag on September 11th this year was perfect. It just so happened to work our way calendar wise. Next year it falls on a Sunday. Trying to decide to buck tradition and hold it on Sunday has both good and bad points which have been discussed in the Poll question. Please understand that everyone can not be pleased with whatever decision is made. As this event grows we are bound to have some growing pains and this should not be one of them. My recommendation is this: Flags on the 48 be held on the closest Saturday to 9/11. It’s the way it has been since the beginning and moving it around to a Sunday or to the actual 9/11 date will make it harder for the hiker-grassroots effort to continue.
Another Oddity this year was Flags on other Peaks. Hitting the other New England highpoints is certainly a great idea. There was even talk(I myself even supporting this at one time) that we should expand the peaks list to include non 4000 peaks and prominent viewpoints. To this I say we need to have a couple more years at hitting all the 48 before it’s even considered. I could only see this happening if we start having ultra large groups meeting up at the summits and jeopardizing the Leave No Trace ethics that we want everyone to partake in.
In all, this event must be remembered as it being a memorial. The moment it stops being one is this event’s death knell. Sure it’s great to get together and meet and chat with old friends and share stories but we have to think of the losses of those families of the victims and our desire to remember those no longer with us. I plan on Bringing a Flag for this event to a summit until I can no longer do so and many other hikers that I’ve spoken to feel the same way. That’s the Tribute that is the soul of this event. Thanks everyone for taking part.
<<< the midget trips off the soapbox>>> 😀 :flag:kenOctober 25, 2004 at 12:10 amPost count: 84
>>closest Saturday to 9/11… It’s how we’ve decided the date in 2002 and 2003<<
either the closest, or the first saturday after, either is good, standardization is best –
so far it has been the first saturday after 9/11 till this year (on saturday 9/11)
>>New England highpoints is certainly a great idea.<<
great idea – 19 more 4000 footers and more state highpoints
2005?AlpinistaOctober 26, 2004 at 9:20 pmPost count: 45
SilentCal: I’m with you and FWIW, my 2 cents are that we stick with the closest Saturday to 9/11. It makes it that much easier for folks to travel back and forth from their homes, and I fear that a Sunday event would make it difficult for people to get together afterward. Although you’re right that this is a memorial and not to be taken lightly, I think it’s cathartic to be able to get together afterward and swap our experiences.
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