On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. – across the river from Washington, D.C. – and in a thwarted attack and subsequent plane crash in a field in Shanksville, Pa. Hundreds of courageous first responders risked their lives to save others and many died while performing their sworn duty. In the aftermath of the attacks, people throughout the country and around the world came together to remember and honor those who died in the attacks.
The heads (obverse side) design features Lady Liberty holding up the Lamp of Remembrance. Behind her are beacons of light stretching skyward. Liberty, the lamp and the light symbolize not just the immeasurable loss on that fateful day, but also the resiliency and triumph of those who persevered. Inscriptions are ALWAYS REMEMBER and 2001 - 2011.
The tails (reverse) design depicts an eagle, symbolizing the strength of the survivors, families and Nation, against a backdrop of cascading water. The flowing water is emblematic of peace, serenity, healing and the continuity of life. Inscriptions are HONOR and HOPE.
The “National September 11 Memorial & Museum Commemorative Medal Act of 2010” (Public Law 111-221) authorizes the striking of silver medals in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the establishment of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.
Signed into law by the President on August 6, 2010, P.L. 111-221 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to strike and offer for sale up to 2 million one-ounce silver 2011 September 11 National Medals. The medal’s designs are emblematic of the courage, sacrifice and strength of those individuals who perished in the terrorist attacks; the bravery of those who risked their lives to save others that day; and the endurance, resilience and hope of those who survived. The required inscriptions are 2001 – 2011 and Always Remember.
Source: U.S. Mint