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Treasures From the War Chest

A new book spotlights history's most beautiful and unique military decorations

In Lest We Forget: Masterpieces of Patriotic Jewelry and Military Decorations, author Judith Price provides true tales behind some 150 military medals, pins and more.

See also: How much do you know about the Civil War?

The slideshow below features 10 of the book's most beautiful and interesting pieces, honoring outstanding military service around the world, from U.S. Civil War soldiers to valiant rescue animals in World War I to American civilians working toward victory on the WWII homefront. The 160-page book is set for release on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.

1861 Fort Sumter Decoration

Country: United States
Year(s): 1861
Materials: Gold medallion, enamel, braided silk insert

This "memory" broach was created by Tiffany & Co. to honor General Robert Anderson’s service in defense of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Against all orders, outnumbered and outgunned, Anderson and 140 men defended Fort Sumter against the Confederates for four months, until finally forced to surrender and evacuate on April 13, 1861. — Courtesy West Point Museum Collection

Photo captions adapted from Lest We Forget: Masterpieces of Patriotic Jewelry and Military Decorations, by Judith Price (Taylor Trade Publishing).

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