WWI Commemorative Strike Ceremony in Philadelphia

by Sharon McPike
December 19, 2017

Artist LeRoy Transfield and Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart discuss the design for the 2018 World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar.

WWI Strike Event

In 2018, the United States Mint will release a coin honoring the 100th anniversary of American involvement in World War I. In order to have coins ready for the January 17 release date, the U.S. Mint hosted a ceremonial strike of the 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar on November 28, 2017. The ceremony was held in the Proof Room at the United States Mint in Philadelphia. U.S. Mint Superintendent Dave Croft emceed the event, with U.S. Mint Chief of Police Dennis O’Connor speaking on behalf of the organization. Sponsors of the coin’s authorizing legislation also participated in the event, including U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Missouri), and U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado).

“Every coin that the United States Mint produces helps to tell a story that teaches us about America’s history or connects us to a special memory,” emphasized Chief O’Connor during the 40-minute ceremony. “Each time a person looks at one of these commemorative silver dollars, it will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by more than four million Americans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Great War. We are very proud to be a part of this effort.”

Special guests LeRoy Transfield and Don Everhart were recognized during the ceremony. LeRoy Transfield is a sculptor whose design won the national coin competition called for in the legislation. Don Everhart is the former Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint. He completed the final sculpt of the coin before his retirement in August 2017.

A group of distinguished guests joined the elected officials for the event. They included Colonel Gerald York, U.S. Army (Ret.), who is the grandson of famous World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin York; Mr. Rod Gillis, Education Director at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mr. Michael Flynn, Vice President of Interpretation and Visitor Experience, Independence Seaport/Cruiser Olympia Museum); and Terry Hamby, Chair of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.

Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby expressed great support for the coin’s mission. “World War I was the war that changed the world. Millions of families across our country were impacted by this war, and we all continue to be touched by it every day. This coin is a tangible way for those families, and for all people, to be a part of this special centennial period.”

About the Coin

The obverse design of the WWI Centennial Silver Dollar is titled “Soldier’s Charge,” and depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines in the lower right hand side of the design. The wire design element continues onto the reverse of the coin in a design titled “Poppies in the Wire,” which features abstract poppies mixed in with barbed wire. Barbed wire was part of the trench warfare of World War I, and poppies are the symbolic flower of veteran remembrance, a tradition that began during the war.

Surcharges from the sale of these coins are authorized to be paid to the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centenary of World War I. The Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission, whose mission is public outreach and education about American involvement in the war. The Foundation supports the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, and expects to use these funds for the creation of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Memorial, which was authorized by Congress in 2014, will be located at Pershing Park, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 14th Street NW, a block from the White House.

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