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Farragut Middle School Student Helping Update Hastings High School Wall of Honor

Wall of HonorA Farragut Middle School student is going out of her way to help honor veterans who once roamed the halls of Hastings High School.

Eighth grader Natalie Romero is currently involved in a project to update the Hastings High School Veteran’s Wall of Honor, a list of alumni who served in the armed forces. While some teachers at the school do incorporate the Veteran’s Wall of Honor in their lessons, Romero has undertaken the effort of updating the memorial in her own free time.

“I think there are so many underappreciated people in this world,” she said. “If I can do something to give back to the people who had the courage and ability to do something that wasn’t necessary for them, then they should be honored somewhere.”

For Romero, the endeavor is not much of a personal one considering that her family has no history of serving in the military themselves, but it is her love for local history that is driving her to honor those who served.

“My dad came here from Argentina so serving in the United States military is not something that my family has done,” she said. “But I love history and loved learning in class about people from Hastings or houses where something notable happened.”

Natalie RomeroFor the project, Romero is using archived newspapers and obituaries to add the absent names of former service members. With help from the Hastings Historical Society, she hopes to honor dozens of these hidden hometown heroes in a feat that she can’t believe she is tackling.

“Either I’m insane for taking this much work on or I am a very determined person,” she said. “But, there’s so much to it and I wanted to see what there was.”

While her teachers are happy to see the Veteran’s Wall of Honor getting a much-needed update they are not surprised that Romero is working on it.

“Natalie is a wonderful person who is dedicated to her learning and consistently goes beyond what is required,” said Romero’s social studies teacher Dom Cecere. “We let the students know each year that an updated Veteran's Wall of Honor would be greatly appreciated by the community and Natalie immediately rose to the occasion.”