A "Hall of Fame" or "Roll of Meriti" could be established - including both the living and the deceased individuals of distinction.
The living can be honored by a "Medal of Merit" or subscribed to the "Order of Meriti". Since creating hierarchies of merit is not really a Gay civilian thing, one grade of merit would certainly do. A distinction can be made for the military boys - they can form ther "Legion of Theben" with ranks and grades, if they wish.
Giving medals to long-dead people is rather pointless, in my view. To honor the deceased individuals, one would do good to educate the public again and again of who they were, and what made them special. History books are one way to do so, regular articles in magazines another one. Stamps, street naming, and even money can be used for this purpose.
Generally, honoring distinguished individuals (deceased and living) makes much sense. It serves a double purpose: a) expresses public recognition of an extraordinary contribution, and b) inspires other people to greater deeds. Dedication has many sources, and often people need encouragement in times of low spirit and self-doubt. A younger person who knows himself/herself in a good company of greate ancestors will show more persistence in the pursuit of excellency. There is a sense of historical continuity which characterises a nation as contrasted to a mere "population".