Later this year, the United States Mint will issue silver medals in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the establishment of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.
Originally, there had been proposals for commemorative coins, but after two programs were already authorized for 2011, another bill was introduced seeking National Medals. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed by the President on August 6, 2010 to become Public Law 111-221.
Each September 11th Medal will contain one ounce of silver. The maximum authorized mintage is set at 2 million. A recommendation is included that one half of the medals should be struck at West Point and one half at Philadelphia. The law states that the design “shall be emblematic of the courage, sacrifice, and strength of those individuals who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the bravery of those who risked their lives to save others that day, and the endurance, resilience, and hope of those who survived.”
The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recently reviewed the 10 obverse design candidates and 16 reverse design candidates provided by the United States Mint.
Both the CFA and the CCAC recommended the obverse design shown above. The figure of Liberty holds a Lamp of Remembrance. Two shapes in the background represent the Twin Towers and inscriptions read “Always Remember” and “2001-2011”.
The CFA made a recommendation that the circle around the flame should be removed since it is “an unnecessary and distracting feature.” They also recommended removing the shapes in the background since the medal commemorates events at multiple locations.
The CFA recommended the reverse design pictured above. The eagle is intended to symbolize the strength of the survivors and all Americans while the background depicts falling water, reminiscent of the waterfalls at the Memorial. The quote “No Day Shall Erase Your From the Memory of Time” is from Virgil’s Aeneid.
The CCAC recommended an alternative candidate that features the same basic design but includes the words “Honor” and “Hope” rather than the quote.
Final design selections will be made by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The US Mint has previously indicated that they intend to release the medals close to the anniversary date. The authorizing legislation allows the medals to be struck until December 31, 2012. There is no sales ending date indicated.
The price of each medal will include a $10 surcharge payable to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center to support operations and maintenance following its completion.
For images of all obverse and reverse design candidates for the September 11th Silver Medals, as well as specific coverage of the CCAC’s discussions, please read today’s article on Coin Update News.