“Veterans Day in Numismatics” by Jack Topping.
[5 November 2015]
Veteran’s Day in the United States is recognized on November 11th, the day World War I ended in 1918. Almost 100 years later, the US Mint has produced countless coins, medals, or select exonumia to commemorate not only veterans of the Armed Forces, but their bravery, honor, and sacrifice as well.
According to the US Mint, a “bicentennial 3-inch bronze medal” was minted in 1975 for the Marine Corps birthday on November 10th, and bears the cherished Marine Corps Eagle, Globe and Anchor. I expect big things from the Mint for the Marine Corps 250th birthday in 2025.
The US Mint also commemorates other military branches and groups through the bronze medals. For example, some medals issued include the US Coast Guard, the US Army, the “Women Airforce Service Pilots”, the Navajo Code Talkers, and the Tuskegee Airmen.
In regards to United States currency, there are numerous examples of commemorative coinage, including the “Marine Corps 230th Anniversary” (2005) which features the iconic scene of “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” on the obverse, and the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on the reverse, or the “Women in Military Service Memorial” (1994) that shows a female member of each military branch on the obverse, and the “Women in Military Service Memorial” on the reverse.
A special commemorative for Veterans Day is the “Vietnam Veterans Memorial” (1994) that features a hand on the wall of names at the memorial in Washington, D.C. on the obverse, and three military medals on the reverse. All three commemorative coins have a face value of $1 USD.
Although each commemorative is worth $1 USD face value, the message of bravery, honor, and sacrifice the coins portray are priceless to every American. Numismatics is amazing not only for preservation of history, but to honor history as well, especially to honor those in the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice for America, for the freedoms every American enjoy today, and for the ability to celebrate history through numismatics. This Veterans Day, I encourage every American to thank a veteran for their service.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
-President John F. Kennedy