- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Mint is introducing a coin to honor the 230th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps — the first time the government has struck a commemorative coin to salute a branch of the military.

The new silver dollar will feature on one side the famous photograph of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, and on the other side the official Marine Corps emblem of an eagle, globe and anchor and the Marine motto, “Semper Fidelis,” which means “always faithful.”

“The coin design is simple and heroic,” said Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. “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.”

Miss Fore and Marine Corps officials participated in a ceremonial striking of the shiny new dollars yesterday at the Philadelphia branch of the U.S. Mint. Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coin will go toward building the Marine Corps National Museum in Quantico, Va.

“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,” said Gen. William L. Nyland, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, who also participated in the ceremony.

The Marine Corps dates to Nov. 10, 1775, when the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and passed a resolution saying that “two battalions of Marines be raised” to serve as landing forces at sea.

Congress authorizes two official commemorative coins to be produced by the U.S. Mint each year. For this year, the two coins are the Marine Corps anniversary dollar and the Chief Justice John Marshall silver dollar, which was released earlier.

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