Touchy subject. I am new to this forum, rarely post. Got a great deal of info from this forum that helped prepare me for a successful summit back in July.
Okay, so the group that plastered this tag to a rock on the summit lost a friend. Sorry for their loss but people lose loved ones everyday and they are not compelled to go out and commit vandalism to honor a memory.
This certainly isn't as egregious as the people that decided to go four wheeling on the playa in Death Valley a few years ago but it is born from selfishness just the same.
That rock on the summit of Whitney has been there for thousands and thousands of years same as it ever was until someone tagged it. No different in my mind than had they sprayed painted it. It did not need to happen.
The leave no trace principal exists for a reason. There are very few places left on the planet where sapiens have not left a mark. Our national parks and forests are treasures, they are suffering. They deserve our respect.