WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Mint at Philadelphia celebrated National Military Appreciation Month May 25 with the ceremonial strike of a new commemorative coin, the 2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar.
Current and former Marines cheered as Director Henrietta Holsman Fore and other dignitaries struck the coins in the Proof Room where the silver dollar will be produced. The official launch of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar will be at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on July 20, U.S. Mint officials said.
This is the first time the United States has honored a branch of the military with a commemorative coin, according to information provided by the Mint. Surcharges from the sale of 2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollars will be paid to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation to help construct the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico.
The obverse, or "heads" side, design of the coin features the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima from the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal during World War II. On the reverse, "tails" side, is the Marine Corps eagle, globe and anchor emblem and motto, "Semper Fidelis" - Latin for "always faithful."
"The coin design is simple and heroic," Fore commented at the ceremony. "The Iwo Jima image is the storied symbol of the Marine Corps heroism, courage, strength and versatility. It exemplifies Semper Fidelis to an appreciative nation every day around the world."
"We are honored to be the first military service to receive a commemorative coin issued by the United States Mint. And we are particularly pleased that proceeds from this coin will help build the Marine Corps National Museum in Quantico," said Marine Corps Assistant Commandant Gen. William L. Nyland. "I can think of no better way to honor our Marine men and women than to capture the proud history and heritage of the Marine Corps in a museum that will forever educate visitors from around the world about the role the Marines have played throughout world history, and will continue to play in the future."
Congress authorizes two official commemorative coins annually, and only the United States Mint may produce them. The Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar is the second and final commemorative coin that the United States Mint will produce in 2005. The Chief Justice John Marshall Commemorative Silver Dollar was launched earlier this year.