DEAR SUN SPOTS (PART II of III, continued from yesterday’s column about a reader looking for help identifying medals that had belonged to her husband’s grandfather who had fought in World War I): The second medal is a bit more detailed and was probably awarded in recognition of his service during the war. The entire piece is about 4 inches long. The upper part is a multi-colored ribbon about 2.5 inches long and the lower part is a copper- or brass-colored disc between 1.25 inches to 1.5 inches across. The ribbon features five colors running top-to-bottom and from the center to the outer edge — red, yellow, green, blue and purple. Five copper- or brass-colored bars run across the front of the ribbon, each naming a different place in France. My guess is they are locations of battles that Grandfather Giffin fought in. The five names are: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector.

The disc features a warrior angel on the front side. His wings are outspread. On his left side, he carries a shield. On his right side, he carries a sword pointed downward. From his head emanates several rays like sun rays.

On the back of the disc, across the top, are the words, “The Great War for Civilization.” In the center is a bundle of tied rods, topped with what appears to be either a two-headed ax or a stylized eagle. Behind the bundle of rods is a shield. On the shield and on either side of the bundle are the letters “U” and “S.” On either side of the shield run the names of 13 countries: France, Italy, Serbia, Japan, Montenegro, Russia and Greece on the left side, and Great Britain, Belgium, Portugal, Rumania (spelling as it appears on the medal) and China on the right side. Running along the bottom are six, evenly-spaced stars. — Sheila, Wilton.

ANSWER: What you are describing, in great detail, sounds like a World War I Victory Medal. The medal is actually made of bronze and measures 1 and 3/8 inch in diameter. According to the Institute of Heraldry, your assumption that the names of the locations in France may be battle-related is accurate. Along with recognition for his participation in the Defense Sector, the battle clasps Grandfather Giffin earned were related to campaigns that ran, in order of their occurrence, from July 18 to Aug. 6, 1918 (Champagne-Marne and Aisne-Marne); from Sept. 12 to Sept. 18, 1918 (St. Mihiel); and from Sept. 26 to Nov. 11, 1918 (Meuse-Argonne). The 13 countries listed, along with the U.S., were the countries which comprised the 14 Allied nations during the war. (See PART III of Sheila’s letter in tomorrow’s Sun Journal)

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Canton Parks and Trails is having our plant sale and looking for donations of perennial plants. The sale takes place on May 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Canton Heritage Park. Please contact Tom Adley for more information by calling (207) 597-2168. — Tom, Canton.

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