On behalf of the Washington Medals of Merit and Valor committee, Secretary of State Kim Wyman is seeking nominations for the awards, the highest civilian honors awarded by the people of Washington.
The Medal of Merit, awarded for exceptional service to Washington and its residents, was created in 1986 to recognize outstanding individuals selected by a committee of top state officials. Last awarded in 2015, the Medal of Merit has been bestowed on 34 people, including three Nobel Prize winners. Elected officials and candidates for office are ineligible for consideration. Its most recent recipients were Gretchen Shodde and the late Billy Frank Jr.
The Medal of Valor has since 2006 been awarded for lifesaving efforts at the risk of one’s own safety, and has been received by eight Washington residents for their courageous acts. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other professional emergency responders are not eligible for the Medal of Valor.
“It is an honor to help recognize selfless and courageous acts of service to our great state and its residents,” Secretary Wyman said in a press release. “These contributions make Washington a better place and inspire us all to live better lives.”
Recipients of each medal are chosen by a committee of the Governor, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. If the committee selects a recipient, awardees will be presented with the medal at a special Joint Session of the Washington State Legislature.
Nomination forms for the Medal of Merit and the Medal of Valor can be found at the medals page of the website of the Office of Secretary of State. Nominations can be submitted by mail to the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98502-0220, or by email to email@example.com.