coinsbygary's Blog

08 Nov 2014

A Four Coin Tribute to the Men & Women of Our Armed Forces

Coins-United States | coinsbygary

A Four-Coin Tribute to our Veterans

The photo collage pictured with this blog is of four coins from within my collection. I dedicate them to the men and women of our armed forces. I wrote this blog two years ago on another forum and it is as pertinent now as it was then. I also meant the words I wrote then and I mean them now.

Those coins, all certified by NGC, are a 2005-P MS-70 United States Marine Corps silver dollar, a 2010-W PFUC-69 Disabled Veterans silver dollar, a 2011-P PFUC-69 Medal of Honor silver dollar, and a 2011-W PFUC-69 Medal of Honor five-dollar gold piece. Each of the dollar coins conforms to the dimensions, weight, and composition of a standard US silver dollar, and likewise, the five-dollar coin matches that of a standard US half-eagle.

Initially called Armistice Day, Veterans Day coincides with the end of hostilities in World War I on November 11, 1918. By Presidential Proclamation, the first observance of Armistice Day occurred on November 11, 1919. Subsequently, in 1938 by an act of Congress, Armistice Day became an annual observance celebrated on November 11. Later through the efforts of World War II veteran Raymond Weeks, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Henceforth, since Armistice Day was originally intended to honor those who died on the battlefield in World War I, Veterans Day today celebrates the service of all veterans.

The first of my tribute coins to our veterans is the 2005 Marine Corps commemorative dollar. The central device of this coins reverse is the United States Marine Corps insignia. Directly beneath the insignia is the Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis that translated is Latin for "Always Faithful."

On the obverse of this coin is a representation of the raising of the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima February 23, 1945. This moment captured forever in time by a photograph is arguably one of the United States Marine Corps proudest moments. Against an enemy ordered to fight to the death, the invasion of Iwo Jima was one of the fiercest fought battles of World War II. Casualties were high on both sides, and of the six men who raised the flag that day; three of them fell in battle before the final fall of Iwo Jima on March 26, 1945.

This battle exemplifies the highest ideals of the United States Marine Corps, ideals that continue in the Marine Corps today. The Marines have always been faithful to us in defending our freedoms; let us always be faithful in supporting them, "Semper Fidelis".

My next tribute coin is the 2010 Disabled Veterans commemorative dollar. On the obverse of this coin are the legs and boots of three veterans, one of which has an amputated leg. Around the upper rim of the coin is a banner with the inscription, "They Stood Up For Us."
The reverse features an oak wreath wrapped by a ribbon with a forget-me-not flower at the base of the wreath. The oak wreath is a symbol of strength, and the forget-me-not, which dates back to World War I, represents those who were disabled during combat.

Currently, 1.6 million (2012) service men and women have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at some point. Of those, 45% have applied for disability benefits. This represents a significant number of men and women who are bearing the physical and/or psychological scars of war. The phrase in the middle of the wreath on this coins reverse asks us to honor the disabled defenders of freedom.

Accordingly, let us honor those who have stood in the gap for us on the battlefield by standing in the gap for them at home, by giving them the love and support they both need and deserve. May they never be forced to carry the physical scars and psychological burdens of war alone.

The Medal of Honor is this nations highest military decoration. It is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.

There are currently three different medals, all illustrated on the obverse of the 2011 Medal of Honor commemorative dollar. The medal to the left is the Army Medal of Honor, the one on the right the Air Force Medal of Honor, and the one in the center the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Medal of Honor.

The reverse of this coin features a soldier under enemy fire carrying a wounded soldier to safety. This represents the Code of Honor our service men and women live by to leave no one behind, even at the cost of his or hers life.

The Holy Bible states that, Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. This then is the type of honor, valor, courage, and love that all Medal of Honor recipients display. To date, less than 3500 Medals of Honor have been awarded. However, I would like to believe that to one degree or another, there are many more displays of these virtues that go unrecognized on the battlefield. We as a nation can be proud of the people that make up our Armed Forces and the courage they exhibit in the face of grave danger.

The final coin of my tribute is the 2011-W Medal of Honor five-dollar gold piece. The obverse of this coin features an image of the original Medal of Honor established in 1861.

On the coins reverse is a likeness of the goddess Minerva carrying a Union shield in her right hand and the flag of the United States in the other. Behind her are Civil War era munitions and a cannon. In Roman mythology, Minerva is the goddess of war, wise counsel, defense of towns, and heroic endeavor. The shield is representative of the Armed Forces of the United States; the flag is the banner under which they fight.

As a defensive shield, are the men and women of our armed forces defending a piece of cloth, or even a plot of land? Rather they are defending the people represented by the flag and the freedom and liberty of that people. The men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States then deserve our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. Freedom comes at a high price and is not free, but for the men and women of our nations military, it is a price worth paying.

As a veteran of the United States Navy during the cold war, I had often thought about how I would react if the call came to go to war. On my ship we spent countless hours training and preparing for such an event. Thankfully, for me, that call never came. However, today, scores of men and women are answering the call to arms, and many will pay the ultimate price on our behalf. Our veterans have given so much; let us not fail to show them the proper gratitude they deserve.

Happy Veterans Day, November 11, 2014.




Level 7

Thank y out what a beautiful set thank you for you service God bless you all And God speed.


Level 5

Thanks for the inspiration!!!


Level 4

God Bless America and all our brave soldiers! It's a nice set you have put together!


Level 5

WoW! Great Job! I really like how you made the blog!



Level 6

Gary, Thank You and all Veterans and their families for your sacrifices in serving this country. That is a beautiful tribute/display on any day but espescially this day. God Bless America and the Men and Women that Serve!


Level 6

This is a beautiful collection! Thank you for your service to our country.


Level 5

Thank you for your service, Gary!


Level 4

Nice post Shipmate! I too am a Navy Veteran. It is my privilege to work at the VA Hospital here in Long Beach where I am surrounded by the men and women these beautiful coins commemorate. I will print your out standing tribute and post it around the hospital for the enjoyment of the Veterans. Thanks for your service.


Level 5

The country might not be here without you!


Level 4

Thank you veterans! We owe you an immense debt.


Level 5

Thank you for your post and for your service. The country would not be the same without people like you.

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