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March Coin of the Month

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial Quarter

This month's coin is the latest quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program (number 17, to be precise).  I've chosen it because I think this interesting design bears closer inspection.

On the coin, you can see the statue of Commander Perry and the column of the International Peace Memorial.  As you can imagine, the column is easy to see from miles around, since it rises 352 feet above the islands of Lake Erie.

What you cannot see is the finer points of the memorial.  For example, there are six officers buried under the floor of the rotunda.  Although Perry himself is buried in Newport, Rhode Island, the memorial is the resting place of three American and three British officers who were killed during the Battle of Lake Erie.

Carved into the walls of the rotunda are the names of Perry's vessels and all the Americans who were killed or wounded in the battle.

Also, an observation deck at 317 feet provides a panoramic view of the Lake Erie Islands.  On a clear day, you can see the shores of Michigan and Ontario as well as Ohio, where the memorial is located.  The visitor center shows monitors in all four directions from cameras mounted 340 feet up the column.

Things really come to life, though, when park rangers give talks or offer living history demonstrations.  Rangers dress in 1812-era uniforms, talk about the Battle and the War, and end with a firing demonstration of reproduction flintlock muskets and sometimes a reproduction of a 32-pounder carronade, a short cannon.

There's more about this national site on the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial quarter page.  Cheerio!

—Inspector Collector

Image shows the back of the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial quarter
Reverse:  A statue of Oliver Perry stands with the International Peace Memorial column in the distance.

Image shows the front of the quarter dollar coin.
Obverse:  George Washington's profile is surrounded by the inscriptions "United States of America," "Liberty," "In God We Trust," a mint mark, and "Quarter Dollar."

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