The National Medal of Recognition for victims of terrorism was created by the President of the French Republic in the wake of the growing number of terrorist attacks against France and the values she stands for. It honors those who have been killed, wounded or held captive in these tragic circumstances.
1. Its purpose
The National Medal of Recognition for victims of terrorism was created by presidential decree on July 12, 2016, on the request of the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor.
It is designed for the nation to pay tribute to victims of terrorism on French territory or abroad.
The idea of its creation came about following the attacks on November 13, 2015, in Paris and Saint-Denis, resulting in 130 deaths, and in January 2015 targeting freedom of expression, a fundamental value of the French Republic.
These events gave rise to great emotion nationwide and made evident a need to honor the victims of terrorism, pointing out a previous gap in the French award system.
The National Medal of Recognition is therefore a special type of award, since unlike the Legion of Honor or the National Order of Merit it is not intended as a reward for services rendered to the nation, but rather to pay tribute to the victims of terrorist attacks perpetrated against France.
2. Award criteria
- French citizens who have been killed, wounded or held hostage during terrorist acts perpetrated in France or abroad;
- Foreign citizens who have been killed, wounded or held hostage during terrorist acts perpetrated in France or abroad against the interests of the French Republic.
It is awarded retroactively as of January 1st, 2006.
Individuals whose conduct has been incompatible with the values enshrined in the French Constitution and with the human rights recognized by international treaties are not eligible for the National Medal of Recognition.
3. Award process and management
The National Medal of Recognition for victims of terrorism is conferred by presidential decree. The Prime Minister sends the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor a nomination dossier for each nominee, on which the Council of the Order of the Legion of Honor decides.
In the case of fatalities, the Grand Chancellor gives his recommendation directly to the Prime Minister, so that the Medal may be awarded at the victims’ funeral.
The consent of awardees or their families is requested prior to awarding of the Medal.
The Medal is managed by the Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honor, as are the National Orders and the Military Medal.
Since it was created and is awarded by presidential decree, the National Medal of Recognition for victims of terrorism is ranked 5th in the order of precedence, after the National Order of Merit but before ministerial decorations.
The National Medal of Recognition for victims of terrorism is a white flower with five petals separated by olive leaves, attached to a white ribbon.
On the obverse, it bears the statue of the Republic on the Place de la République in Paris, with the inscription « République française » (French Republic); on the reverse, it depicts two crossed French flags and the national motto « Liberté-Egalité-Fraternité » (Liberty-Equality-Fraternity).