A total of 44 proposed obverse and 38 reverse designs for three
congressional gold medals honoring those who lost their lives in the
Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were reviewed May 15 by the Commission of Fine Arts.
Gold medals are authorized under the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act, Public Law 112-76, to recognize those who
perished from the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, the
Pentagon in Virginia and the crash of United Flight 93 near
CFA members reviewed 18 obverse and 12 reverse designs for the New
York medal; 13 obverse and 15 reverse designs for the Pennsylvania
medal; and 13 obverse and 11 reverse sketches for the Virginia medal.
Bronze duplicates of the medals will be offered for sale to the
public by the U.S. Mint.
The CFA's recommendations, plus narrative descriptions of the
➤ New York — Obverse: The abstract lines flowing downward symbolize
loss while the lines moving upward represent rising above, hope, and
deliverance from that loss. This configuration also suggests the Twin
Towers. The numbers 93, 77, 175, and 11 represent the four planes
involved in the tragic events of 9/11 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. The CFA recommends removing the
rose. Reverse: This design features a single rose protruding from an
edge at the top, an echo of the memorial in New York where a white
rose is placed through the name of each victim on his or her birthday.
The inscription reads, “Time cannot erase the memory of 2753 innocent
people from more than 90 countries, lost at the World Trade Center in
the attacks that shook the world on September 11, 2001. May their
memory inspire an end to intolerance.” 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 CFA
recommends removing one rose and one of the two commas.
➤ Virginia — Obverse: Recommended design shows the rebuilt façade of
the Pentagon where Flight 77 crashed. The angle of view is the angle
of the flight path. A single candle and a small bouquet signify a
sacred memorial at the site. The American flag flies overhead in a
united and patriotic wave. The CFA recommends removing the plants
around the Pentagon. Reverse: Design features 184 stars on a raised
border around the edge of the design, one star for each of the victims
of the tragedy. The inscription reads, “We honor the passengers and
crew of Flight 77, those in the military who sacrifice for our
freedom, and all who perished at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
We will never forget.” 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.
➤ Pennsylvania — Obverse: Features the hemlock groves behind the
memorial boulder at the Flight 93 Memorial, a simple reminder of loss
and healing. Originally submitted as reverse design. CFA recommends
removing the date. Reverse: Design features 40 stars on a raised
border around the edge of the design, one star for each victim. The
inscription reads, “We honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who
perished in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001. Their
courageous action will be remembered forever.” 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 Citizens Coinage
Advisory Committee is scheduled to review the same proposed
designs at its noon Eastern Time May 19 meeting at the Omni Hotel at
Independence Park, 401 Chestnut St., in Philadelphia.