Memorial day is a solemn day of remembrance of the men and women who fought for us and died in the line of duty. This Memorial weekend, Shopcsntv offers the Marine Corps Silver dollar that was released in 2005 to mark the 230th Anniversary of the inception of the Marines. This post explores the history behind the design and why this coin is special to all of us.
The Marine Corps
The Marines are special amphibious forces that use the U.S. Navy to deliver combined-arm tasks force at land, air or sea. This special unit of the defence forces who are neither sailors nor soldiers, and generally just called the Marines, trace their origin back to the Continental marines in the Revolutionary war. Captain Samuel Nicholas raised two battalions of Marines through a resolution of Congress on 10 November 1775, which is considered the birthday of the U.S. Marine corps. A total of 300 Marines were recruited and they played a significant role in the 'Battle of Nassau' during the American Revolutionary war. After the war, the marines were disbanded and recreated later in 1798.
Raising the flag in Iwo Jima
Perhaps the most recognised image that we associate with the Marine Corps is the one from the Marine Corps War Memorial, Virginia. Sculptor Felix De Weldon got inspired by the picture of the Marines raising the stars and stripes atop Mount Suribachi taken by Joe Rosenthal of Associated Press during the battle of Iwo Jima, World War II.
In the war, United States used the island-hopping strategy to engage the Japanese Imperial army. The Island of Iwo Jima was being used as a strategic point by the Japanese for early sighting of American bombers. Mount Suribachi, the most distinguishing factor of Iwo Jima had to be captured first as per American strategy. After heavy fighting, the mountain was captured and the first U.S. flag was raised on top. But the flag was too small and soon a new bigger flag was procured. Joe Rosenthal, the Associated Press photographer was one of the men who climbed with the marines deployed for the flag raising. As soon as they reached the summit, Rosenthal almost missed taking the picture as he was trying to find a vantage point. When he saw the Marines raising the flag, he quickly swung his camera and took his Pulitzer prize winning picture.
Marine Corps Commemorative dollar
In July 2005, the U.S. mint released the Marine Corps Commemorative dollar. The design in the obverse features the famous picture taken by Joe Rosenthal - 'Raising the flag on Iwo Jima' and the reverse depicts the Marine Corps Official emblem; Eagle, Globe and Anchor. The coin had a mintage of 600,000 and was released by the Philadelphia mint facility.