PHILADELPHIA – The United States Mint at Philadelphia celebrated National Military Appreciation Month today with the ceremonial strike of a new commemorative coin, the 2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar. Marine Corps Heritage Foundation members and Marines employed by the United States Mint 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 staged at Quantico, Virginia, on July 20.

Along with Congressman John P. Murtha (D-PA), Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General William L. Nyland and Marine Corps Heritage Foundation President, Lieutenant General Ron Christmas (Ret.), joined Director Fore in striking the shiny new silver dollars. This is the first time the United States has honored a branch of the military with a commemorative coin.

The obverse (heads side) design of the Marine Corps silver dollar features the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima from the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal. On the reverse of the coin is the Marine Corps emblem and motto, “Semper Fidelis” — always faithful.

“The coin design is simple and heroic,” commented Director Fore 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 Nyland. “I can think of no better way to honor our Marine men and women than to capture theproud 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.”

The United States 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.

Surcharges from the sale of 2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollars are authorized to be paid to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the purposes of construction of the Marine Corps Heritage Center in Quantico.

For more information, please visit www.usmint.gov. For digital photographs of the 2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar, please visit http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/commemoratives/index.cfm?action=Marine

Contact:
Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222
Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)