Secretary of State Congressional Medal of Honor Project
The Secretary of State is charged with overseeing the Maine State Archives and encouraging civic participation. This program is designed to venerate Maine's Congressional Medal of Honor recipients with memorials in their home towns.
Why: Youth Awareness of CMOH significance
Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are singled out as 'the bravest of the brave." Many of their citations list incredible acts of valor that saved hundreds of lives, yet most people do not know the stories of these forefathers from their own town. There are many people of younger generations who are not aware of the medal or its significance at all. This is a wonderful way to combine historic, educational and civic lessons and honor our veterans as well.
Goal: Facilitate creation of memorial plaques
Our goal is to reach out to school kids; to get young people involved with local history, and interacting with veterans groups, libraries and museums. Kids would "own" the project while recognizing their decorated veteran(s).
Students would research their local CMOH recipient, design a memorial, arrange for a site, raise money for the project, construct the memorial, and plan for maintenance if necessary.
Target: While primarily intended as youth projects, we welcome participation by any interested civic organization. Project organizers may include:
- Middle or high school classes
- History classes
- Vocational classes
- School clubs
- Boy/Girl Scouts/Eagle Scout project
- Veterans Organization or other community groups
Time frame : School Year
Ideally, this would be a seasonal or school year project, with clear outcomes to be reported to the SOS office for an overview of project effectiveness.
There are 96 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients with a connection to Maine . Eighty-one Maine municipalities have a direct connection (i.e. place of birth, place entered service, or burial place) to one or more CHOH recipients.
Challenge: Thematic project/topic
There will be challenges to the valor involved in some citations. We live in a different world than when these honors were bestowed. We are not putting contemporary values into history; we are recognizing our veterans place in history. However, some groups may choose not to recognize their recipient.
Project variation: Research existing military memorial
If there is no CMOH recipient in a town, perhaps there is military history or a monument that a group could research and record for use on the military memorial site.