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State Honoree

Heather Hull

New Mexico

Heather Hull, 17, of Los Alamos, N.M., a member of the Girl Scout Sangre de Cristo Council in Santa Fe and a senior at Los Alamos High School, arranged to have a touring replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial exhibited in her hometown. Having been interested in the Vietnam War for several years, Heather visited the memorial in Washington, D.C., and found it to be “an exceptional experience.” She wanted to honor the five Los Alamos soldiers listed on the wall, and give people back home the opportunity to pay tribute to the fallen heroes. So Heather began working to bring The Wall That Heals – a 250-foot half-scale touring replica of the original memorial – to Los Alamos. The project required a lot of paperwork in addition to finding a site, recruiting veterans and other adult volunteers to assist the public, leading committee meetings, speaking to school children and community organizations, keeping records and arranging publicity. More than 14,000 people visited the exhibit during its five-day tour in Los Alamos, including 2,500 school children who listened to Vietnam veterans talk about the war. Bringing the wall to Los Alamos, said Heather, helped some veterans “come closer to healing the deep emotional and psychological wounds left from a puzzling and divisive war,” and allowed “the whole community of Northern New Mexico to pay tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans. Our country owes its veterans, in war and in peacetime, an immeasurable debt.”