On Monday, September 11, 16 years since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, 30 USM veterans, students, faculty and staff particitpated in a 9.4 mile hike from USM's Portland campus to the Gorham campus to honor Maine's fallen heroes.
Veterans Services at USM coordinates The Summit Project Ruck at USM each year to keep the memory of Maine's fallen soldiers alive. Participants carry stones representing each of the fallen soldiers along the hike, making stops along the way to pause and share their stories.
Air Force veteran, USM graduate student and Veterans Services Assistant Coordinator Camden Ege planned the Ruck for last spring, but was forced to cancel the event due to poor weather. He chose to reschedule the event for a more significant date—September 11.
"This year marks the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, an event that impacted all of our service members," he said. "For many of the veterans hiking, these attacks lead to our decision to serve. This hike is a way of honoring sacrifice and uniting the community."
"One in ten Mainers is a veteran, the third highest per capita in the nation, and USM serves the most veterans out of any school in Maine. We are the heart of the Southern Maine community and everybody has a connection to a USM alum or a veteran," Camden said.
See WMTW's footage of the Ruck and an interview with Camden Ege here.
See the Portland Press Herald story here.
See the American Journal story here.
See the Gorham Times coverage here.
Katie Matzell, Office of Public Affairs