Secretary of State Kim Wyman is now accepting nominations for the prestigious Washington State Medals of Merit and Valor.

The Medal of Merit recognizes those who have distinguished themselves by exceptional service to the people of Washington. Past recipients have included such notables as U.S. Senators Henry Jackson and Warren Magnuson, Nobel Laureate Dr. E Donnall Thomas, glass artist Dale Chihuly, suffragists Emma Smith Devoe and May Arkwright Hutton, Bill Gates Sr., environmental leader and treaty rights activist Billy Frank, Jr., and the founder of Harmony Hill cancer retreat center, Gretchen Schodde.

The Medal of Valor recognizes those who, at risk of personal injury or death, have saved, or attempted to save, the life of another. The Medal of Valor cannot be awarded to first-responders, firefighters, law enforcement or other public employees whose bravery and service are part of their daily jobs.

Earlier this year, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5035, sponsored by Senator Kirk Pearson of Snohomish County, to expand eligibility to groups and communities, not just individual heroes. This legislation cleared the way for awarding the medals to the communities of Oso, Darrington, Arlington and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe for rescue, recovery and relief efforts after the devastating landslide in Oso on March 22, 2014, that killed 43 people. The medals were awarded in a joint session of the Legislature on March 18 of this year, along with Medal of Merits to Gretchen Schodde and, posthumously, to Billy Frank Jr.

Nominations for both the Medal of Merit and Medal of Valor are being accepted through November 9. Those interested in submitting a recommendation for either medal may request an application from the Secretary of State’s office or visit our website at www.sos.wa.gov/medals/
Nominations to: Toni McKinley-Camp, Office of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220

Background:

Created by the 2000 State Legislature, the Medal of Merit and Valor Committee consists of Governor Jay Inslee, Lt. Governor Brad Owen, Speaker of the House Frank Chopp and Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen. Secretary of State Kim Wyman is an ex-officio member charged with administering the program.