Up to 500,000 $1 silver coins and 100,000 $5 gold coins will be struck in 2011 by the United States Mint as authorized by the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 which President Obama signed into law Friday, Nov. 6, 2009.
The collector minted proof and uncirculated coins will mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, America’s highest award for valor which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
"We owe everything to those who wore the uniform and committed extraordinary acts of bravery in defense of their colleagues and nation," said Rep. Christopher Carney who introduced the legislation which easily passed in the House and then the Senate.
The act calls for the coin designs to be "emblematic of the traditions, legacy, and heritage of the Medal of Honor, and the distinguished service of its recipients in the Nation’s history." Included will be the motifs representing the three Medal of Honor designs — Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Additionally, the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act states that the proof coins must be manufactured at a different US Mint facility than the uncirculated coins.
Included in the sale of each commemorative coin will be a surcharge of $35 per $5 gold coin, and $10 per silver dollar to be paid to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to finance the educational, scholarship and outreach programs.
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America’s oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 101st year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, U. S. Navy (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, “The Day of Infamy”, Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.
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