*UPDATE from Mission Memorial Day Facebook.
The video was taken after we had to turn back on our last chance of summit, which says it all, but please read on for a few more details. Memorial Day has passed and this morning we flew off the glacier back to Talkeetna. Our mission was to carry our flags to the top of Denali and honor the over 350 men and women inscribed on them. Unforeseen circumstances are inevitable and insurmountable at times and with one of our teammates becoming extremely ill, our last chance effort to gain the summit was foiled by weather. Collectively our team had 30 names on the flag themselves, and we wanted more than anything to get those names, and all the others to the top so they could fly in the wind passing over North America’s highest point. However, our decision was to not add any more names to the flag by turning around at 18,000 feet when the objective hazards got to be too great, and by evacuating a teammate from Camp 3 at 14,200 feet all the way down to base camp at 7,200 feet in a 14 hour push arriving at 2AM this morning. Our expedition was challenging and the team feels scoured, but with only a 1.6% success rate up to the day we left, we feel very accomplished making it to 18,000 ft. This isn’t the end, but only the beginning. We will continue to honor our brothers and sisters, and we will be back again next year for Memorial Day.
Too often the meaning of Memorial Day gets lost in the used car and mattress sales. This year, four Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will be carrying the names of the fallen on flags to the top of Denali. the tallest peak in North America. The flags will be proudly flown on Memorial Day not just on top of North America, but across the entire nation as well, in honor of their sacrifice. With the wars ending, the memory of those lost and the dialogue around their sacrifice are unfortunately ending. We need you to help us raise awareness, join us in your community, and help contribute to the mission, taking back Memorial Day!*
*from Mission Memorial Day Facebook Page