Home → Honoring a Fallen Family Member
Honoring a Fallen Family Member
The State of Maine offers several programs for Gold Star families to pay tribute to their lost loved one.
The State of Maine Gold Star Recognition Program was launched on August 7, 2006 as part of a larger initiative created by then-Governor John Baldacci to recognize the dedicated military service of many of Maine's residents.
Honoring a Veteran from a Grateful State" – the only state-sponsored veteran recognition program in the nation – commemorates those who lost their lives in service; those who were wounded in action; former and current POW's; and celebrates the service of all veterans in Maine.
Under Maine's Gold Star Recognition Program, families of service members who were residents of Maine upon their entry into the military and who were either killed in action or died while deployed may receive the Maine Gold Star Honorable Service Medal. Please click here for full eligibility details and to apply for a medal.
Maine allows families of fallen service members to commemorate their loved one through Gold Star Family License Plates. In October of 2015, the 127th Legislature expanded Maine's program by passing "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Gold Star Family Registration Plate.
This new provision allowed for the distribution of Gold Star Family License plates to families whose service member was killed while on active duty, but not in combat. The law also introduced a new, customizable vanity plate for Gold Star families. Learn more about Maine's Gold Star Family License Plates.
Several private organizations have also stepped forward to help pay tribute to Maine's Fallen.
The Summit Project organizes hikes, runs and other events where participants carry a stone engraved with the name of one of Maine's fallen service members. Prior to an event, participants are required to learn as much as they can about the individual whose stone they carry, and after an event, they write a letter to the service member's family about their experience.
The Maine Fallen Heroes Foundation provides peer and financial support to families of fallen service members. In addition to hosting spaghetti dinners and bowling events, the Foundation organizes an annual "Run for the Fallen" that provides participants with the opportunity to meet with – and thank – fallen service members' families along the racecourse.