Regional

ACOVA approves ND Commemorative Memorial Coin program

The North Dakota Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA) approves the Policies and Procedures for the conferring of the North Dakota Commemorative Memorial Coin, also known as a Funeral Honor Coin, upon a family member during a Veterans funeral honors ceremony.

During the ACOVA’s June 29th meeting in Steel ND the committee approved the final program details for the Coin. The policies and procedures on how the coin will be made available to funeral honor details, conferred upon family members as well as the sale of additional coins were finalized during this meeting. Details such as coin design, the bidding process, sales tax, postage, payment types, a clear understanding of eligibility for the coins as well as the requirement for the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs to solicit donations from the public to fund the coins were all addressed since the ND Legislature passed the law in 2017. Shortly after the morning meeting the coins were shipped and, in some instances, hand delivered to ND Funeral Directors across the state. The first coin was conferred that afternoon at the ND State Veterans Cemetery.

North Dakota Funeral Directors have agreed to maintain a supply of coins for Funeral Honor Details to confer upon family members. In accordance with the ND law one coin will be conferred to a family member of a ND Veteran during Funeral Honor Ceremony. Family members may purchase additional coins from the ND Department of Veterans Affairs at a cost of $10 each. Funeral Directors will not be allowed to sell coins however they can provide purchase forms which will need to be mailed to the ND Department of veterans Affairs. Free coins will not be given retroactively they can only be conferred during funeral honors. Coins to commemorate past ND Veterans may also be purchased by family members. Eligible veterans must have at one time lived in North Dakota.

The coins design, which was approved by the ND Veterans Coordinating Council as well as the ACOVA earlier this year, has on the front side all five military service emblems, US and ND flag and verbiage: “NORTH DAKOTA MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS” and “ON BEHALF OF A GREATFUL STATE”. The outer ring has a white background to symbolize “Purity and Innocence”. It displays wheat which symbolizes “Love and Charity”. The Blue field in the middle represents “Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice”. The back side of the coin is centered around a soldier field cross with open space below if the family would want to have something engraved on the coin such as veterans name, rank, service dates etc. The outer ring verbiage; “DAY IS DONE”, “GONE THE SUN”, “ALL IS WELL”, “SAFELY REST” is from popular versus used in the music “TAPS” which is played at military & veteran funerals. The wheat represents the “Divine Harvest” while the Gold back represents “Achievement and Honor”.

This project originated with Senator Sorvaag of Fargo ND. With his help SB 2183 passed the 65th Legislative Assembly. If you would like to learn more, purchase a coin or contribute to this program contact the ND Department of Veterans Affairs at 701-239-7165. Mail to 4201 38th Street SW #104 Fargo ND 58104 or visit our website at www.nd.gov/veterans/Benefits/ND-commemorative-Memorial-coin