If you got a commendation for your brave deeds during the earthquake, then congratulations! A commendation is an award praising someone’s actions.
A commendation can be an official award for notable action, often given out by a government or other group. A police officer might receive a special commendation for being particularly brave. This kind of commendation is often awarded at a public ceremony. You can also use commendation more broadly to mean "praise," even if it's not official. It'd be nice to tell your teacher she deserves commendation for the good-natured way she has handled your rowdy class all year.