Dear Mr. Moy:
In its meeting of 17 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative designs for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Commemorative Medal, to be issued in support of the proposed commemorative structures at the World Trade Center site in New York City. The Commission members noted the overall mix of classical and modern alternatives in the submission and recommended a pairing which would result in a consistent overall design for the medal.
For the obverse, the Commission members recommended alternative #10 due to the strength and simplicity of this design. They recommended removing the circle around the flame, commenting that this is an unnecessary and distracting feature that interferes with the circumferential lettering. Noting that the medal commemorates events which occurred at multiple locations, they recommended removing the two polished vertical bands that are intended as a reference to the World Trade Center towers, allowing the flame to read clearly against a uniform background texture.
For the reverse, the Commission members recommended alternative #16 featuring an eagle, again citing the simplicity and universal theme of the design which would be a good complement to the obverse; for the text, they preferred the choice of the quotation from Virgil's Aeneid in this design rather than a grouping of single words as shown in several alternatives. They also recommended clarifying the background pattern of rippling water as either a single texture across the width of the coin or a gradated change in texture to suggest depth, commenting that the submitted design implies a different texture to the right and left of the eagle.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Edmund C. Moy, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint