CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Unclaimed Property Division of the State Treasurer’s Office is returning lost military medals and memorabilia to their rightful owners.

The medals and memorabilia had been abandoned in safe deposit boxes and were turned over to the Office’s Unclaimed Property Division. According to a release, the State Treasurer’s Office often receives safe deposit box contents as unclaimed property after the owner or their spouse pass away.

A first-of-its-kind ceremony to return the medals will be on Thursday, July 14, at 10 a.m. at the Culture Center in Charleston, Treasurer Mac Warner announced on Tuesday.

“These items represent the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans, and I believe they should be handled with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Treasurer Moore said.

The ceremony comes after legislative changes to improve the state’s Unclaimed Property Act, including reforms that allow the Office to directly return these types of items to veterans and their families, after the claim has been processed and owner verified, saving them the hassle of first having to settle unpaid bills and paperwork with banks.

“Under our old unclaimed property laws, families would have to go through a lengthy process to settle with banks and notarize paperwork before they could be sent the items through the mail,” Treasurer Moore said. “Thanks to the changes passed in the most recent legislative session, we can now return these items directly to the families and handle them with the honor they deserve.”

The ceremony will honor 13 veterans from various branches of the military who served in various wars ranging from World War II to Vietnam. Twelve of the veterans have already passed away, and their families will be receiving their medals and memorabilia on their behalf. The memorabilia and photographs of the veterans will be on display.

The event will be live-streamed on the Treasurer’s Office’s Facebook page.