AUGUSTA — The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services and the Maine Arts Commission will host a veteran recognition ceremony and art show at the Maine State House, where veterans will be awarded the new State of Maine Honorable Service Coin meant to honor all Maine Veterans, past and present, regardless of their branch or era of service, according to a news release from the bureau.

The ceremony and art show will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Maine State House, 210 State St.

U.S. military members have a longstanding tradition of carrying special “challenge coins” to symbolize branch and unit identity and foster esprit de corps. In 2002, the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services commissioned the first of four bronze plaques that now hang in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State Capitol, each representing veterans who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as women veterans. A likeness of each of the four plaques was made into coins that are regularly presented to Maine veterans based on their era of service, according to the release.

As many other Maine veterans have served during peacetime and in conflicts other than WWII, Korea and Vietnam, in the fall of 2018, MBVS worked with local Maine artist Georgette Kanach to design the State of Maine’s first-ever “Honorable Service Coin” and plaque — a plaque that will also hang in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House. Going forward, MBVS will present the new coin, along with a certificate of appreciation to Maine Veterans in acknowledgement of their service and sacrifice, as part of its dedicated Veteran recognition program.

“One of the important missions of the Bureau is to extend a ‘Thank You’ to our veterans to properly recognize their service,” said David Richmond, director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services, according to the release. “These events are a great opportunity to publicly celebrate and acknowledge their service. The Maine Arts Commission was instrumental in our selection of Ms. Kanach, the designer of the coin and the future plaque, and I really appreciate their expertise and collaboration. This ceremony will be the first official public presentation of the Honorable Service Coin and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to unveil it.”

To register, visit eventbrite.com. Veterans must present bureau with DD214 to receive recognition.

For more information, about resources for veterans and their families, contact the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services at 430-6035 or visit maine.gov/veterans.

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