Bigger Is More Beautiful
Fallen Heroes of September 11th Bronze Medals are exact duplicates of the three Congressional Gold Medals located at each of the terrorist sites to honor our fallen heroes.
My coin collecting journey of fifty years has taken me to various destinations. Like many collectors, I started out collecting Lincoln cents as an ambitious ten-year-old. Fast forward about twenty years, and my disposable income increased dramatically. I collected proof sets, Jefferson Nickels, Roosevelt dimes, type sets, world coins, and many more.
Recently I ventured into the world of exonumia. I acquired all three of the three-inch Fallen Heroes of September 11th Bronze Medals. Their size and weight are impressive. But what is more impressive is the extreme detail that is visible to the naked eye. The medal's true artistic beauty and symbolism of this tragic event shines through in these large-format medals.
Fallen Heroes of September 11th Medals
The tragic events at the World Trade Center in New York City, Pentagon in Washington, DC, and in rural Pennsylvania on September 11th, 2001, had a permanent impact on the United States. Ordinary civilians, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, military members, and government employees took heroic and honorable action on that day.
Public Law 112-76 authorizes the production of three Congressional Gold Medals – one for each of the three sites. The three-inch bronze medals are exact duplicates of the U.S. Mint's Congressional Gold Medals. The one-and-a-half-inch medals are replicas using a smaller die.
Fallen Heroes of New York Bronze Medal
This medal honors the men and women who perished in New York City due to the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. On September 10th, 2014, a solid gold version of this medal was given to the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York to be put on permanent display.
The obverse of the medal features a representation of the two world trade towers. The numbers "93," "77," "175," and "11" represent the four planes involved in the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, and are positioned as if on a clock, representing the times of the crashes. The words "ALWAYS REMEMBER" are set upon a stone wall similar to the wall that bears the names of the victims at the memorial. It carries the additional inscription "ACT OF CONGRESS 2011."
The reverse features a single rose at the top of the coin, symbolizing the memorial in New York where a white rose is placed by the name of each victim on their birthday.
The inscription reads: "WE HONOR THE THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE FROM MORE THAN 90 COUNTRIES LOST AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IN THE ATTACKS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD ON SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001. MAY THEIR MEMORY INSPIRE AN END TO INTOLERANCE." The design also features a bald eagle standing sentinel and clasping laurel branches, signifying an eternal honoring of those who perished in the tragedies.
Fallen Heroes of the Pentagon Bronze Medal
This medal honors the men and women who perished at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. As a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. On September 10th, 2014, a gold version of this medal was placed in the Pentagon's Memorial.
The obverse features the rebuilt side of the Pentagon where Flight 77 crashed. The view of the Pentagon is at an angle similar to the flight path. A single candle and a small bouquet of flowers and greens signify a sacred memorial at the site. The American flag flies overhead in a united and patriotic embrace. The inscription is "ACT OF CONGRESS 2011."
The reverse features 184 stars on a raised border around the edge of the design, one star for each of the victims of the tragedy at the Pentagon. The design also features a bald eagle standing sentinel and clasping branches of laurel, signifying an eternal honoring of those who perished in the tragedies. The inscription reads: "WE HONOR THOSE ON FLIGHT 77 AND THOSE IN THE PENTAGON WHO PERISHED ON SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001. WE WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICE AS WE UNITE IN MEMORY."
Fallen Heroes of Flight 93 Bronze Medal
This medal honors the men and women of Flight 93 who perished in a rural Pennsylvania field as a result of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. The solid gold version of this medal was placed in the Flight 93 National Memorial for permanent display.
The obverse features a hemlock grove behind the memorial boulder in the rural Pennsylvania field. It is a simple reminder of loss and healing. Inscriptions are "A COMMON FIELD ONE DAY, A FIELD OF HONOR FOREVER" and "ACT OF CONGRESS 2011."
The reverse features 40 stars on a raised border around the edge of the design, one star for each victim. A bald eagle standing sentinel and clasping branches of laurel signifies an eternal honor of those who perished in the tragedies. The inscription reads: "WE HONOR THE PASSENGERS AND CREW OF FLIGHT 93 WHO PERISHED ON A PENNSYLVANIA FIELD ON SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001. THEIR COURAGEOUS ACTION WILL BE REMEMBERED FOREVER"
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Author: James M Bucki
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