On Tuesday, April 30, quarters celebrating American Memorial Park in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) were officially introduced to the public.
A crowd of about 1,200 people, including 1,000 schoolchildren, attended the launch ceremony hosted by officials from the National Park Service and the United States Mint. Kids aged 18 and under received a free American Memorial Park quarter to commemorate the event.
Depicted on the quarter’s reverse (tails side) is a scene emblematic of the memorial park — a young woman in traditional attire at the front of the Flag Circle and Court of Honor.
"The American liberation of the Northern Mariana Islands hastened the end of the war, but came at a price of thousands of casualties," remarked U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder. "May this quarter stand as a tribute to the memories this park preserves."
Ryder shared the stage with CNMI Governor Ralph Torres, Lieutenant Governor Arnold Palacios, and park superintendent Barbara Alberti.
Other ceremony highlights included the Saipan Southern High School JROTC Battalion Honor Guard, Gus Kaipat singing the National Anthem, and Carolinian and Chamarro performances.
Many of those who attended the launch ceremony took part in the traditional coin exchange with about $9,000 in D-mint mark American Memorial Park quarters swapped for cash.
Another highlight for 26 collectors and local enthusiasts was a coin forum held on the evening before the launch ceremony where attendees listened to and asked questions of U.S. Mint officials.
American Memorial Park quarters started entering circulation on April 1. The U.S. Mint on the same day released them in rolls and bags for collectors. Available products include quarters produced at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95.
The U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program debuted in 2010 and will honor 56 national parks and other sites through 2021. The American Memorial Park quarter is the 47th released and the second of the five unique 25-cent designs for 2019.